Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is set to make a return to competitive cricket for New South Wales against South Australia in a one-day match on Friday.
The left-arm fast bowler has been out since June after suffering a recurrence of a foot injury during the Champions Trophy with Australia.
Australia’s assistant coach David Saker confirmed Starc and Josh Hazlewood would feature in first-class cricket before the home Ashes series against England, starting in November.
They will be joined by fellow speedster Pat Cummins, who has been rested for the upcoming T20 internationals in India.
”Whether the fast bowlers play all three of those we’ll wait and see,“ Saker told reporters. ”Three Shield games to shape the Australian team – it’s going to be good for everybody.
“Josh Hazlewood is on track to play the first test. Mitchell Starc’s going really well and Patty’s obviously flying.”
Starc has backed the team’s fast bowlers to replicate the havoc created by the Mitchell Johnson-led attack in the Ashes whitewash of 2013-14.
England batsmen were left shell-shocked by the blistering pace and bounce from the Queenslander, who finished with 37 wickets in five tests.
“We’ve got a really solid attack and we complement each other. If it’s not me, you’ve got Pat Cummins who can bowl fast bouncers and Josh Hazlewood bowling consistent line and length,” Starc was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
“It’ll be much like that attack did when Johnno (Johnson) took all those wickets, I think we complement each other really well.”
Australia’s five-test Ashes series against holders England starts in Brisbane on 23 November.