Mitchell Starc in doubt for Sydney Test with finger injury

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc is in major doubt for the third Test against South Africa in Sydney after damaging his finger in the field on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Starc dislocated the tip of his middle finger on his left hand, his bowling hand, while attempting to take a catch at long-on during the middle session on day one.

Starc immediately left the field for treatment. He later returned to the field for the end of South Africa’s first innings after having a brief bowl in the nets out the back of the MCG, but he was not required to bowl.

Australia’s team management confirmed on the second morning that Starc had been cleared to continue to play in the match and he did bat in the nets before play. But the CA statement said his “condition will be reassessed at the completion of the match” and there were no details of the result of his scan overnight.

Australia have two spare fast bowlers with the squad. Josh Hazlewood and Lance Morris both had a bowl in the nets on the second morning at the MCG. Morris had been called up ahead of the Adelaide Test against West Indies as specific cover for Starc who has been Australia’s most durable fast bowler having played the last 18 consecutive Tests since only being selected for one of the five Tests in the 2019 Ashes.

Australia may also consider adding another specialist spinner to the Test squad for the third Test in Sydney given the only 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 in a low-scoring game.

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