Mitchell Starc, Australian speedster, is fit and raring to play some competitive cricket after a six month injury lay-off. The fast bowler is one amongst the 15-man squad selected for the tri-series in West Indies, which also involves South Africa.
"It's been a long time coming. The foot has been great, there's no pain in the ankle or the foot," Starc told media in Sydney on Thursday (May 26).
The New South Wales (NSW) pacer injured his ankle during the day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last November and had to undergo a surgery to get it fixed.
"I've been really happy with it, it's come along really well," Starc said. "I've had a good three or four months in gym to get a bit of size back on, and I'm feeling really good; fit, strong and ready to play some cricket."
Starc had been practicing with the rest of the Australian squad at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane last week, where Joe Burns stated him a "scary" prospect to face.
"It's been coming out pretty well up in Brisbane the last couple of weeks so I'm excited to see what comes about. It feels like it's in a good place," Starc confirmed.
When asked if he would hit top speed from the word go, the fast bowler was a bit skeptical, "I'm not sure if I'll be back up to top speed straight away, it might take a couple of games as it normally does for fast bowlers coming back, but I'm excited to see how it comes out on the gun."
The pacer had been carrying the injury for a while and termed it as an over usage of his body that caused him to breakdown. "Having that ankle issue through the Ashes from the first Test probably played big part in why my foot broke," Starc said. "I had surgery to take bone out of the back of the ankle, clean it up, take a few spurs out.
"It was more of an over-use issue and rather than a technical issue, so I'm back to bowling what I've been doing the past few years and ready to pick up where I left off in November," he added.
Australia have a busy calendar ahead. After the tri-series, they travel to Sri Lanka and South Africa, then they host the South Africa and Pakistan for a full-fledged series. The year will conclude with them playing limited-overs cricket against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Given the long season ahead, Starc feels the team management will be able to handle their players well. "I'm sure they'll manage everyone with how the body is going. I just want to get through this first tour and play some cricket again after six months out.
"It's seven games if we make the final and whether I play all seven or they talk to me about how it's going, that sort of thing, we've got a good squad of cricketers and some good fast bowlers."
Starc is on the verge of becoming the quickest bowler to reach 100 One-Day International (ODIs) wickets, but he didn't read too much into that. "First and foremost have to get the first game back under the belt, take a few wickets and help Australia win the game. If I can do that, the rest will fall in place," he concluded.
Australia play their first game of the tri-series against the hosts in Guyana on June 5.
Mitchell Starc is Fit, strong and ready to is play some Cricket
4/ 5Oleh Cricket Earth