Mayank Kumar ∙ Dec 13 2020, 10:24 AM | 2 Min Read

AUS vs IND: Mitchell Starc set to return to squad just 2 days before 1st Test

Pacer Mitchell Starc will rejoin the Australian squad tomorrow, December 14 and is likely to feature in the first Test of the Australian summer against India in Adelaide. The left-armer had to take a break for a family emergency after the first T20 between Australia and India, and will now be joining back the squad just with just two days in hand to prepare for the first Test. He will take the same chartered flight that will carry all the squad members of the touring Indian team and Australia A side who are playing a tour game at the SCG.

Starc’s return will be a big relief for the hosts who have been jolted by many injury concerns to their first-choice players. David Warner and Will Pucovski have been ruled out of the first Test while the enterprising all-rounder Cameron Green who impressed with a superb century against the Indians in the first tour game is under injury clouds.

Although Starc will have only two days to prepare for the Adelaide Test but his credentials with the pink ball has been exemplary. In a 7-match-long stint with the pink ball in Test matches, Starc has 42 wickets against his name.

In case Starc fails to make it to the playing XI, one of James Pattinson or Michael Nasser will partner Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood with the pink ball in Adelaide.

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Former Australia captain Allan Border has praised the Indian pace bowling unit calling it an improvement of leaps and bounds from the days when India used to play three-four spinners even on pace friendly wickets. “India really needed to develop some fast bowlers, didn’t they? Every time they toured anywhere, they were presented with grassy pitches, pace-friendly pitches. So the days of playing three or four spinners are long gone,” Border told Australia’s Cricket Network. The World Cup-winning skipper was in awe of Indian pace sensation Bumrah. “It’s incredible, his rise through the ranks just out of probably IPL. It started there and he has just taken the world of cricket by storm,” he said. The 65-year-old then went on to say that Bumrah has actually out guessed everyone with his fitness. “He has an unusual action, everyone thought he is going to struggle with injuries and things like that. He has had a little bit of a niggle of late,” Calling Bumrah a purely ‘Indian Thing’ while describing his unusual action, Border, who played 156 Tests for Australia and scored more than 11,000 runs in it, said, “He is the real deal, isn’t he? He just has the awkward action but he bowls at a good pace, so not the classical way of doing things. It is very much an Indian thing really, they just let the kids develop their own styles.” The first Test between Australia and India begins on 17th December in Adelaide and if the Warmp-Up match is anything to go by, the Pink ball can cause real damage to the Aussies as all the four Indian pacers in Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj have wrecked havoc with it. Bumrah is also the fastest Indian speedster to take 50 Test wickets. He achieved the feat in just 11 Tests.


AUS vs IND: Problems, a lot of them for hosts

Tim Panie the Aussie captain has the best chance to redeem himself from the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy defeat, the first-ever for Australia at home in the history of their Test cricket. And Mohammad Kaif, former India cricketer believes that Paine,36, will go to any extent to do that and it includes sledging as well. The reason why Kaif, who played 138 international games for India, thinks this way is because Paine has nothing to do with the IPL and hence he need not worry about his connections with the Indian team or its members. "All the players who play in the IPL, whether it is (Aaron) Finch, (David) Warner, or (Pat) Cummins, none of them are going to fight now. Tim Paine does not play, he knows that he is not going to come to India, he does not have anything to do with the IPL, so he can confront the Indians," said the man who scored 3177 international runs for India. Kaif,40, also feels that it is the last chance for Paine to prove himself with the bat as well, otherwise, he might just be playing his last international series. "He is not able to score runs with the bat. He just got the captaincy because Smith and Warner had the problem at the time. They were banned, so he was made the captain in compulsion. Now that they have come back, if he doesn't score, then his place in the XI will also be difficult. So it will be better if he concentrates on batting and keeping only this time," Kaif said. In the 19 Tests as captain Paine has won 10 and lost six and hence not really in a bad position, however, it is his batting that has been a real issue. Since his comeback to the Aussie team, Pine has scored just 1043 runs in 42 innings of 27 matches at an average of just 30, which by modern Australian standards is below par. The first Test, a day/night affair between hosts and India begins on 17th December in Adelaide.