Ahead of third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against India, Australia's left-arm fast-bowler Mitchell Starc stated that he is feeling that he will be bowling at full tilt despite experiencing some levels of discomfort as his left finger is still not fully healed yet from a tendon injury.
Starc had injured his middle finger while trying to take a catch in the deep during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG last year. The injured finger was in a splint for six weeks. Though Starc bowled with decent rhythm in the build-up to the second Test in New Delhi, he wasn't picked.
Now with Pat Cummins back home due to personal reasons, Starc is ready to go through pain to lead Australia's bowling attack in Indore from March 1. "It's good enough. There's going to be a level of discomfort... I don't think it is going to be 100% for a little while, but the ball is coming out quite nicely and I feel like I'm pretty much at full tilt."
"It's more the discomfort of the joint being restricted having been in a splint for six weeks and still having to be in a splint for another couple of weeks yet. That's probably the only part - dealing with the discomfort of it, getting the mobility back into it."
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"That'll come over the next couple of weeks and it's progressed again, it's a progression each day I bowl. It's not a concern for me, the comfort levels - it's doing what I need it to do to be available to play."
"It wouldn't be the first Test match I've played in some sort of discomfort. If I only played when I was at 100%, I would have only played five or ten Tests. I'm happy with where it's at and I've built up enough of a pain threshold to deal with that stuff over the last 10 or 12 years," said Starc to reporters on Monday.
Starc's return also means that off-spin duo of Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy will benefit through his footmarks creating rough to bowl into India's majorly dominated right-handed top-order. The left-arm pacer insisted that he's fine with bowling through a heavy workload if Australia stick to having three spinners in Indore.
"I had 10 days off when I first did the injury and then I've been bowling since. Workload-wise, body-wise no concern at all, I'm comfortable and happy with where my numbers are, where my body is at preparing for this series and then obviously not having the first two Tests to continue that as well. In that regard very happy with where it's all at, now it's just an execution of skills having had a break from game time."
"Being a left-armer is slightly different and obviously with the footmarks I can produce as well. Certainly produce more than the Indian guys with being a bit heavier at the crease."