India vs Australia Test series 2017: Big Blow for the Aussies as Mitchell Starc is ruled out through injury

Deepak Vikraman
Mitchell Starc, Australia, India, Test series, injury

IANS

Australia's chances of pulling off a massive Test series win have been dealt a big blow with their premier fast bowler Mitchell Starc being ruled out of the remaining two matches against India.

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While Starc hasn't been at his absolute best, in a couple of sessions the fast bowler has shown just the kind of damage he can do.

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Unfortunately, damage to his foot has meant that the left-arm pace bowler will not play a part in the Test matches in Ranchi, which will begin next week, and Dharamsala. After complaining about pain in his right foot, scans revealed a stress fracture.

"Mitchell experienced some pain in his right foot during the second Test in Bangalore which unfortunately had not subsided a few days after the Test as we had hoped," Australia team's physiotherapist David Beakley said.

"We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture.

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"Subsequently, this means Mitchell will be unavailable for the remainder of the Qantas Tour of India and will return home to Australia to start his rehabilitation."

Australia have one reserve fast bowler in the squad in Jackson Bird, but it is likely that the selectors will name a replacement for Starc – someone with express pace and ability to pick up wickets with the new ball.

While Bird is a quality bowler, Steven Smith, the Australia captain, will, no doubt, want a quick that can cause the India batsmen a few problems with pace, like Starc could.

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Pat Cummins could be given the nod, with the pace bowler impressing in the Sheffield Shield for New South Wales when he took eight wickets.

However, Cummins is also someone who has had a lot of injury problems, just like James Pattinson, another candidate to be named Starc's replacement.

Whoever is brought in, though, Starc will be a big miss for Australia. The 27-year-old just brings that fear factor to the side and when on-song he is the best fast bowler in the world. The left-hander also impressed with the bat in the first Test, scoring a crucial half-century in the first innings, which swung the momentum in Australia's favour.

However, Australia must find a way to cope without Starc, with Smith's side looking to bounce back from the 75-run defeat to India in Bengaluru, which tied the four-match series up at 1-1.

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