India vs Australia: Josh Hazlewood backs Mitchell Starc to be ready in time for day-night Test

India vs Australia: Josh Hazlewood backs Mitchell Starc to be ready in time for day-night Test
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India vs Australia: Josh Hazlewood backs Mitchell Starc to be ready in time for day-night Test 

Highlights

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc reportedly could play the first Test of the Border Gavaskar series against India, starting on Dec. 17

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc reportedly could play the first Test of the Border Gavaskar series against India, starting on Dec. 17. Starc, who left the limited-overs squad last month on compassionate grounds after learning about a family illness, is expected to overcome lack of preparation for Tests and feature in the day-night Test in Adelaide.

The 30-year-old pacer will fly from Sydney and join the Australian national team on Monday in Adelaide in a chattered flight that will also carry his fellow Australians Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, and Mitchell Swepson, along with India's touring squad, as reported by cricket.com.au.

Starc will only have two full days in Adelaide to prepare for the upcoming opening Test between India and Australia, which will be Virat Kohli and Co's maiden pink ball Test overseas. However, there are only few other bowlers who know how to use the pink ball as well as the left-arm pacer. Starc is the most profilic bowler in day-night Tests, having picked 42 wickets in seven Tests. Overall, Starc has bagged 59 wickets in 10 day-night matches played at the first-class level.

The gap between the top two bowlers in the list of most wickets in pink ball Tests show how dominant Starc has been in the new format. The next three bowlers in the list are also Aussies: Nathan Lyon (28 wickets), Josh Hazlewood (26 wickets), and Pat Cummins (19 wickets) ahead of Pakistan's Yasir Shah (18 wickets), and the New Zealand duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee (16 and 15 wickets).

Despite the limited preparation, Australia fast bowler Hazlewood expects his bowling partner, Starc, to be ready for the first Test against India.

"It's obviously great news for us to have Starcy come in tomorrow. He's a huge part of our team and a huge part of our attack. Everyone knows his numbers with the pink ball are pretty special so we welcome him with open arms. If we've learned anything from this series it's that nothing goes to plan.

We're always struggling with the schedules and travel and different things. I'm sure this hiccup will be no different for Starcy. He's a professional and he would have been doing everything he could over the last week and obviously, once he comes into camp he'll jump straight in and be ready to go," Hazlewood was quoted by cricket.com, as saying on Sunday.

If Starc is unable to feature in the day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval, Australia already have the duo of James Pattinson and Michael Neser ready to step up, having bowled with the pink ball under lights as part of Australia's preparation this week.

During the second practice match between India and Australia A, Abbott walked off the field with calf tightness and did not bowl in the rest of the game as a precautionary measure.

"We feel for Mitch at this difficult time and we're happy he has taken time out to spend with his family. We look forward to welcoming him back into the squad on Monday," Australian men's head coach Justin Langer said in a statement.

India recently defeated Australia 2-1 in the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) after losing the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series.

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