Australia pacer Mitchell Starc said he still feels some discomfort in his finger after snapping a tendon in a fielding mishap in December but he expects to return to the side for the third test against India beginning on Wednesday at Indore.
The left arm suffered an injury to the middle finger of his bowling hand and was sidelined as Australia lost the opening two tests of the four-match series against India.
With skipper Pat Cummins and batter David Warner ruled out of the contest, the tourists are likely to welcome back Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green.
“There’s going to be a level of discomfort for a while, I don’t think it is going to be 100% for a fair while,” Starc said on Monday. “But it’s certainly good enough. The ball’s coming out quite nicely and I feel I’m pretty much at full tilt.
“It wouldn’t be the first test match I’ve played in some sort of discomfort. If I only played when I was at 100 per cent, I would have only played five or 10 tests.
“I’m happy with where it’s at and I’ve got enough of a pain threshold to deal with that stuff over the last 10 or 12 years.”
Cummins has returned home to be with his ailing mother, leaving Steve Smith, who captained Australia between 2015 and 2018, to lead the side in his absence.
Starc felt the quicks still had a big role to play in the series, which has so far favoured the spinners.
“It’s been a challenge in the last couple of weeks, the first two tests,” he said.
“We do see spin playing a huge part in this test series, but the quicks have still played a particular role, whether it be with the new ball if it does reverse-swing, and being able to bowl that skiddy ball, and bring the stumps into play.
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“So there’s certainly an important role to play for the seam bowlers.”
Indian wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat said the turning wickets have so far proven to be big challenges for Australia, but it was not unplayable.
Bharat scored an unbeaten 23 off 22 deliveries to take India home in the second test in New Delhi and said his mindset was to keep things simple.
“The wickets aren’t unplayable,” said Bharat. “If you apply yourself and back your defence, there’s scope for a batsman to score runs.
“At this level everyone intends to score, so shot selection is important on these turners. As a batsman if you’re clear with your shots, there are runs on these tracks.”
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