Starc replaces Johnson 4th Test against India
Sydney: Mitchell Starc replaced injured pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson as the only change in Australia’s squad for the fourth and final cricket Test against India starting here tomorrow.
“Australia captain Steve Smith has named one change for the fourth Commonwealth Bank Pink Test at the SCG, with Mitchell Starc replacing the injured Mitchell Johnson,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
Johnson was ruled out after failing to overcome hamstring soreness he sustained in the drawn third Test in Melbourne.
Besides, all-rounder Shane Watson has recovered from a stomach problem that forced him to leave yesterday’s training session early.
“I’m sure he’s looking forward to playing out here in front of his home ground at the SCG. I think having one left-hander’s good for us,” Smith said on Starc’s selection.
“The way we’ve seen Mitch go back into the Big Bash, it looks like he’s bowled exceptionally quick. We’re looking for hopefully for more of the same he’s produced in the Big Bash this week.
“If he sustains that for long periods and if he keep that type of pace up and sustain it throughout whole day he’s going to be an extremely amazing bowler.”
The left-arm pacer has played 14 Tests since debuting in 2011 against New Zealand.
Australia have an unassailable 2-0 series lead and Smith admits if the series was still alive Johnson “probably” would have played.
“He’s got a little hamstring strain. I think there’s no secret there’s a pretty big summer coming up,” Smith said.
“We want him to be fresh for the one-dayers and World Cup coming up. We don’t want to risk him.”
Johnson has taken 13 wickets at 35.53 this summer.
Australia XI: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.