Last Update on: December 24th, 2017 at 08:51 am
Australia pace bowling spearhead, Mitchell Starc, has been ruled out of the Boxing Day Ashes Test match due to a heel injury. Australia were sweating over Star’s heel from past few days and in the end, the news was confirmed two days ahead of the Boxing Test.
Starc, despite the heel issue, bowled on the last day of the third Test. Later, he was seen walking with crutches which gave an indication that he might miss the penultimate Test match.
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Jackson Bird, the reserve pacer, will replace Starc in the contest. He was already not released to play Big Bash League as a precautionary measure and has found a favour this time.
He, along with Chadd Sayers, was included in the team as a backup pace option at the start of the series. Sayers was later released from the side but Bird travelled along with the team.
Starc is currently the highest wicket-taker in the Ashes with 19 scalps in the series. He, recently, drew praise for his ‘ball of the century’ to dismiss England batman Jame Vince. Starc’s unavailability is not the thing which Australia would have wanted before going ahead in their task of whitewashing England.
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Australia will also sweat on the comeback of Tim Paine. He did not travel with the side to Melbourne due to personal reasons and is expected to join the squad today. His availability for the Test is yet be confirmed.
It is still not clear whether Peter Handscomb will don gloves in Tim Pain’s unavailability or will the selectors callup an experienced wicketkeeper. Looking back at Matthew Wade or Peter Neville could be an option for the selectors.
The fourth of the series starts on December 26 in Melbourne. Both the teams have few forced changes. Australia will miss Starc while England will miss out on the services of Craig Overton due to the rib injury. Tom Curran is in line to replace Overton for the fourth Test.
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