Australia pacer Mitchell Starc, on Tuesday, hinted that the injury layover, which has kept him out of competition since the Ashes in July, is nearing its end.
“The recovery is on track. The priority is always the World Cup. We will see how today goes, and see how I pull up in the morning. The goal is to play tomorrow but we’re not compromising the World Cup,” said Starc ahead of the third One-Day International against India in Rajkot.
Starc had suffered a shoulder injury during the Ashes which kept him out of Australia’s tour of South Africa. Then another one on his groin forced him out of the first two ODIs against India.
Australia missed the services of another important player, Glenn Maxwell, who injured the tendon on his ankle. The all-rounder took part in the net session on the eve of the third ODI and looks on track to regain full fitness before the quadrennial event starts.
“He is here for training today as well. Not sure about his exact timeline but no doubt he will be looking to make an impact. He has a wealth of experience through the Indian Premier League. He is an X-factor. It will be his third World Cup. He adds in the bowling department as well,” said Starc.
In the injury-marred lead-up to the World Cup, Australia lost back-to-back series, against South Africa and India, leaving the side on a five-match losing streak. But Starc feels that the learnings from the two tours will add up and help at the showpiece event.
“We have used a wide squad of players due to injuries and managing the workload of players. We have tried different combinations. Leading into the World Cup, it is not a position you want to be in, but there’s still plenty to look forward to in terms of what the makeup of the team will look like in the World Cup. Plus, it is another chance to get accustomed to the conditions,” said Starc.
Australia’s death bowling, in particular, has come under the lens. In eight ODIs in 2023, Australia’s economy rate reads 9.48 in overs 41-50. In Indore, during the second ODI, Australia allowed 104 runs in the final 10 overs.
“Not much discussion at the moment (about death bowling). It is a pretty calm group at the moment. Our execution has been a bit off with the bat and the ball. So there are areas we can improve. Probably our PowerPlay bowling as well.”
Heading into the World Cup, Starc feels that adapting to the venues and conditions across India will be the key for Australia to execute its plans and succeed.
“We have seen the wicket change in the two games depending on who batted first and second in which place. Spin was a massive factor in the second innings the other night while it played well under the lights in Mohali. The wickets are going to be different depending on which part of India we play in. There are not too many grounds we play back-to-back games in. The conditions are going to play a part, and we have to adjust better than we have in the first two games,” said Starc.
Australia begins its World Cup campaign on October 8 against India in Chennai.
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