Mitchell Starc’s participation in the third Test against South Africa in Sydney is in serious doubt after he injured his finger on the field during the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
During the middle session of day one, Starc dislocated the middle finger on his left hand, his bowling hand, while attempting to catch a ball at long-on.
Starc left the field immediately for treatment. After a brief bowl in the nets at the back of the MCG, he returned to the field for the remainder of South Africa’s first innings, but he was not required to bowl.
On the second morning of the match, Australia’s team management reported that Starc had been cleared to continue playing, and he did bat in the nets before play. However, according to the CA statement, his status would be reviewed following the conclusion of the match, and the results of his overnight scan were not disclosed.
Australia carries two additional quick bowlers. During the second morning at the MCG, both Josh Hazlewood and Lance Morris bowled in the nets. Morris was called up prior to the Adelaide Test against the West Indies as specific cover for Starc, who has been Australia’s most durable fast bowler, having played 18 consecutive Tests after being selected for only one of the five Ashes Tests in 2019.
Australia may also consider adding another specialist spinner to the Test squad for the third Test in Sydney, as the sole Sheffield Shield match played there this summer was a spinner’s paradise, with New South Wales offspinner Chris Green taking nine wickets and West Australia offspinner Corey Rocchiccioli taking eight wickets in a low-scoring match.