Mitchell Starc, who went for scans yesterday after suffering a blow to his finger, is set to be sidelined for a while with doctors advising him rest for the next few weeks, which would mean Starc would miss the New Year’s Test match against South Africa in Sydney next week. However, he wouldn’t leave the team halfway from the MCG Test, and will bowl in the ongoing Test, after which his condition will be reassessed.
“He‘ll play this Test in great discomfort, but it’s at least six weeks recovery. It’s tendon damage to that middle finger, that bowling finger,” The Australian’s reporter Peter Lalor told SEN.
This is not the first time that Starc suffered a finger injury in 2022. The 32-year-old sliced the tip of his left index finger on a spike on his bowling shoe in an unusual accident during Australia's tour of Sri Lanka.
In the absence of Starc, the door is now open for Lance Morris to make his Australia debut at SCG. Morris was called up to the squad ahead of the Adelaide Test against West Indies as an injury cover and he now emerges as a like-for-like replacement. Morris was a consistent performer in Australian domestic cricket this season with 27 scalps at 18.40 in five Sheffield Shield matches.
There could also be a possibility that Josh Hazlewood may make a return and Morris’ debut would depend on his recovery. The leading Australian pacer suffered a side strain and missed three consecutive Tests but the Fox Sports reported that Hazlewood is on his way to recover from the injury.
“If you want someone with a bit of pace and to have a look at someone new, then Lance Morris is there,” former England bowler Isa Guha said on Fox Cricket.
“He’s waiting in the squad to come in and have a bowl. He’s express pace, he’s been playing really well in the Sheffield Shield, most wickets this season. There is that option. I think maybe they’ll assess how other bowlers are feeling ahead of the Sydney Test, because experience accounts for everything, and Josh Hazlewood deserves his place back.”