Starc eyes Champions trophy return

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Injured Australian quick bowler Mitchell Starc hopes to be fit in time for the ICC Champions trophy in England that starts in June this year.

Starc says his foot injury is not as serious as the problem that saw him sidelined for a long stretch 18 months ago.

The left-arm quick was on ice for nearly eight months after suffering an injury during the maiden day/night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide.

Appearing on Australian TV show The Back Page on Fox Sports Starc said: “It’s OK, it’s not snapped in half like the one 18 months ago.

“I did the third metatarsal last time, this one is the fourth. It’s a nice fracture, but it’s not displaced so I don’t need (to wear) a boot fortunately.

“So I’m still in the gym and getting ready for when I do come back. When that might be, I see the specialist on Thursday and hopefully I’ll get a clearer picture then.

“But the Champions Trophy is definitely not out of the picture at this time.”

Australia are grouped with New Zealand and hosts England in a Champions trophy group that also includes the much improved Bangladesh.

The other group contains India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Starc was one of a number of Australians involved in on-field confrontations with India players in the recent series and got a send off from Ravichandran Ashwin in which the off-spinner mimicked the Aussie quick’s gesture to Abhinav Mukund after he top-edged a six.

Starc warned Ashwin to expect a fiery reception when he visits Australia next.

He added: “I look forward to bowling to Ashwin in Australia.

“(I might) take his advice and hit him on the badge.

“(The on-field banter has) probably come a lot more from their side than ours.

“There was a lot made of it before the series and there was so much hype before the series. I think we’ve just gone about the cricket that we have done for a long period of time now.

“(Australia’s fighting draw in the third Test) shows how we are as a group and the Indians have come hard, it’s almost a defence mechanism for them.

“We won the first Test match, we (were there) for the challenge, they were scared of us beating them in India the way they’ve been playing

“So it was almost like a defence mechanism for them and they obviously came out in the second Test match and performed really, really well and got back in (the series).”