Starc, O’Keefe to miss Bangladesh Test series

Mitchell Starc has not been included in Australia’s squad for their two-match Test series in Bangladesh in August due injury, with the fast bowler set to undergo scans as part of his recovery plan.

Also missing from the tour party will be left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe, who took 12 wickets in the first Test against India in February, with Ashton Agar joining Nathan Lyon as the spin options in the squad.

Western Australia allrounder Hilton Cartwright, who played the New Year’s Test against Pakistan in Sydney, has been recalled while batsman Usman Khawaja retains his place.

The Aussies will arrive in Bangladesh on the 18 August and play a two-day tour match in Fatullah on 22 August before going on to play two Tests in Dhaka and Chittagong on 27 August and 4 September respectively.

Speaking about Starc’s omission, Australia physiotherapist David Beakely said: “Mitchell was due to go for follow up scans after the Champions Trophy, as part of his recovery plan.

“These scans have indicated his previous stress fracture has still not fully healed to the extent we would like.

“He will now undertake a period of rest from bowling with the aim to have him return for the one-day series in India in late September as he begins his build up to the Ashes.”

National selector commented about O’Keefe’s absence: “Whilst Steve O’Keefe bowled well in Pune. He did not maintain this level in the remaining matches of the series and we believe the timing is right for Ashton to enter the set-up and test his allrounder ability.

“Ashton has continued to impress us with his form and we believe his bowling is at a level where he deserves to be playing on the highest stage. He will work nicely in tandem with Nathan Lyon and also brings a great all-round package to the team.

Australia Test squad: Steven Smith (capt), David Warner (vice-capt), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Matt Renshaw