Australia paceman Starc ruled out of Test opener against India

By Sports Desk January 11, 2023

Australia announced an 18-player squad for their upcoming tour of India, with Mitchell Starc to miss the first Test of the series due to a finger injury.

Starc suffered tendon damage and a fracture to the middle finger on his bowling hand during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG, although he was able to tough it out and return to the field.

The 32-year-old was ruled out of the final Test of the series in Sydney and selectors confirmed on Wednesday that Starc's recovery will mean he will not fly over to India with the rest of Australia's squad.

In more positive news, Cameron Green is expected to make a full recovery in time for the series opener on February 9, having undergone surgery on a finger injury of his own.

"Greeny, we're hopeful that he should be right for the first Test," chair of selectors George Bailey said.

"But if not that, that's okay. We feel like we've got the squad that can cover that. 

"Starcy's not expected to be available for the first Test, in fact he's going to come across to India a touch later."

If there is one area of the squad where Australia could afford an injury, it is in the fast-bowling department.

With Starc out, captain Pat Cummins will likely be joined by Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland in the pace attack, while the rapid Lance Morris has been named in the squad and might feel overdue for a look-in.

Australia also named four spinners, with veteran campaigner Nathan Lyon joined by Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and uncapped off-spinner Todd Murphy.

Bailey addressed the condition of back-up wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb, who was forced to retire hurt immediately after hitting a six while playing for St Kilda in a T20 on Tuesday, having been nailed in the hip the previous over.

"Pete's got a scan tomorrow morning to check on that," Bailey said. "He's confident it's nothing too serious.

"A bit of a mishap. He just copped a ball on the back hip, and then three balls later he dispatched one and just felt something give a little bit in there.

"There's still quite a bit of time between now and when we depart and even when the first test is, so we'll work through that as we get more information."

Bailey confirmed Handscomb is still third in the pecking order, but selectors have opted to give Josh Inglis the tour off to allow him to play some first-class cricket.

"Josh is absolutely still our backup or number two wicketkeeper," he said. "But we're also conscious that he has been on a number of tours and hasn't actually been able to play a great deal of cricket."

The first Test of of the four-match series starts in Nagpur on February 9.

Related items

  • Livingstone says England have grown into World Cup ahead of India clash Livingstone says England have grown into World Cup ahead of India clash

    Liam Livingstone is hopeful England are coming good at the perfect time ahead of their T20 World Cup semi-final against India, having grown into the tournament after a slow start.

    The defending champions almost succumbed to a humiliating group-stage exit, with only old rivals Australia keeping them in with a dramatic victory over Scotland.

    Having finished second in Group B, Jos Buttler's team did likewise in Group 2 at the Super-8 stage, a resounding victory over the United States sending them through at West Indies' expense. 

    England now have a chance to reach their fourth T20 World Cup final and their third in the last four editions, while a third triumph at the tournament would take them clear of the Windies for the outright record. 

    All-rounder Livingstone says England have a chance to prove tournaments are not about how you start, but how you finish. 

    "In tournament cricket, sometimes it is better to sneak up and nick it at the end," said Livingstone. "Hopefully that is the way we will go. 

    "A lot of lads have been contributing in the last few games which should stand us in good stead going forward. We've hopefully got two more massive games."

    Livingstone sustained a torso injury while batting against Namibia in the group stage but has shrugged that problem off to play all of England's matches.

    He has yet to truly hit top form, taking two wickets and scoring 13 and 33 in his two innings with the bat in the middle order, but he is confident a big finish is coming.

    "As a kid I always wanted to be involved, that's the reason I started bowling a few years back," he said.

    "So batting at seven and maybe bowling one over, that's where the hard bit comes as you want to be involved.

    "Thankfully the last two games I struck the ball well against South Africa and bowled pretty well [against the USA], so I feel I'm in a good place."

  • Rashid: T20 World Cup semi-final berth a "dream" for Afghanistan Rashid: T20 World Cup semi-final berth a "dream" for Afghanistan

    Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan hopes the team's "dream" run to the T20 World Cup semi-finals will serve as inspiration to young people across the country.

    Afghanistan will face South Africa in their first World Cup semi-final on Wednesday after edging out Australia to escape the Super 8s with an eight-run win over Bangladesh.

    This is Afghanistan's seventh participation at the T20 World Cup, with the first three all ending in the group stage before they reached the Super 10s in 2016 and the Super 12s in 2021 and 2022.

    Speaking after finishing with figures of 4-23 in Monday's dramatic, rain-affected win over Bangladesh, Rashid said: "I think the semi-final is going to be a massive, massive inspiration for the youngsters back home in Afghanistan. 

    "We have done it at under-19 level, but at this level we haven't done that. Even the Super 8s was the first time for us. It's an unbelievable feeling. 

    "It's like a dream for us. It's all about the way we had started the tournament. The belief came when we beat New Zealand [in the second group match].

    "I don't have any words to describe my feelings. Definitely back home everyone is so, so happy about this."

    While Afghanistan will go into the semi-finals as underdogs, Rashid sees no reason why they cannot go even further.

    "We are capable, as long we keep things very simple, and I think in the whole competition so far we kept things simple," he said. 

    "There were some tough times but we didn't let ourselves down and we always tried to come back stronger."

  • Afghanistan win topsy-turvy Bangladesh clash to eliminate Australia from World Cup Afghanistan win topsy-turvy Bangladesh clash to eliminate Australia from World Cup

    Afghanistan reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals for the first time and eliminated Australia from the tournament with a dramatic eight-run win over Bangladesh.

    Afghanistan entered the final game of the Super 8s requiring a victory to join England, India and South Africa in the last four, while Bangladesh themselves could still qualify via net run-rate with a handsome win.

    Both Bangladesh and Australia might have been positive regarding their prospects when Afghanistan reached just 115 in their innings.

    Even Rahmanullah Gurbaz's 43 came off 55 balls as they made slow progress, before the opener handed Soumya Sarkar a simple catch off a 17th-over delivery from Rishad Hossain, who impressed with figures of 3-26.

    It was the Bangladesh innings that brought the drama, though. 

    Repeated rain stoppages meant they were left chasing a series of revised targets, and the losses of Najmul Hossain Shanto (5) and Shakib Al Hasan on back-to-back third-over balls, the latter for a golden duck, made their chances of qualification unlikely.

    However, they could still send Australia through with any victory, and opener Litton Das did his best to do so, making an unbeaten 54 as wickets tumbled around him.

    With Bangladesh nine runs from victory but with just one wicket remaining in the 18th over, it was Naveen-ul-Haq who sealed Afghanistan's place in the last four.

    He joined captain Rashid Khan on four dismissals by trapping Mustafizur Rahman lbw, ensuring Afghanistan will face South Africa in a historic semi-final in Trinidad on Thursday.

    Data Debrief: Farooqi earns a slice of history

    While Afghanistan captain Khan (4-23) and Naveen (4-26) hogged the headlines on a historic day for the team, team-mate Fazalhaq Farooqi also had an outing to remember. He trapped Tanzid Hasan lbw for the first wicket of the Bangladesh innings, his 16th wicket at this year's tournament.

    That drew him level with Sri Lanka's PW Hasaranga (in 2022) for the most wickets in a single edition of the T20 World Cup, and he will look to take the record outright against South Africa later this week.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.