Starc declares himself fit for series opener


Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc says he will be fit for the first Test against South Africa in Perth, and is recovered after his calf laceration.

Starc picked up the freak injury during training a month ago, when a piece of metal lying about on the field got in his way when he dived to take a catch.

He needed dozens of stitches and surgery on his lower leg, but feels he is now ready to face the Proteas. He will play in a Sheffield Shield match ahead of the 3 November WACA clash.

Starc said: “I’m hopefully on that plane on Monday to Brisbane and [will] get some good bowling in and get back playing and ready to go for the first Test.”

As for the Proteas, they are nervous enough about facing Starc that they have asked for left arm pacemen to bowl to them in the nets, to try and replicate facing him.

Proteas opener Dean Elgar, who has never faced Starc, explained: “It’s a general request from our management; there is not a lot of left-arm seamers.

“You have still got to tick those boxes in regards to preparation so we definitely have got a few (left-arm) net bowlers.

“And we have got a few of our management who also throw left-arm which is quite an asset, so we will definitely prepare in the right means.”

He added of Starc: “His stats speak for themselves. He seems a serious competitor, a guy who I respect a lot in the game.

“I see it as a very exciting opportunity to play against him.”