If Mitchell Starc has to sit out of the second Ashes test match which is to be played in Lord’s, the Australian bowling attack will get significantly weakened.
Starc is a big threat for the batsmen in English conditions, not only with his pace, but, with his swing as well.
He is one of those rare pacers going around who can make the ball move in the air at quite a bit of speed.
He had a bad ankle in Cardiff; still he cranked up good speeds and ended up as Australia’s most successful bowler there.
However, the kind of discomfort he looked in while bowling in the latter parts of the third day, one could make out that his injury was getting from bad to worse and thus, for him to pull up in only 4 days’ time, it’s unlikely.
And, knowing Australia’s philosophy, their selection committee would never pick someone who is 80 or 90% fit.
They would have probably thought of doing so if it was a One Day International, but, a test match is a different ball game.
Now, the question is – who can Australia slot in as Starc’s replacement? There are a couple of names on the table i.e. Peter Siddle and Pat Cummins.
Siddle has got experience and control. He is a workhorse. He can bowl long spells, keep things tight and can achieve crucial breakthroughs as well. But, Josh Hazlewood is already doing all these things for Australia at the moment and to have another same kind of bowler in the line up does not really make much sense.
Cummins, on the other hand, brings something different in the mix. He is pacy and he can be an enforcer even on not so responsive wickets.
There cannot be anything better for Australia if Starc gets fit, but, if he doesn’t, there is a decision to be made as far as his replacement is concerned.