Mitchell Starc return should worry Windies, South African batsmen: Steve Smith
Steve Smith believes that Mitchell Starc's return from injury might be bad news for West Indian and South African batsmen for their upcoming ODI tri-series.
Brisbane: Mitchell Starc's return will strike fear into the West Indies and South African batsmen in June's one-day tri-series in the Caribbean, skipper Steve Smith said on Monday.
Left-arm paceman Starc, 26, has been out of action since fracturing his foot in last November's historic day-night Test in Adelaide against New Zealand and undergoing ankle surgery.
Starc's fitness boosts the Australian pace attack which also features Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Scott Boland for the ODI tri-series where each team play three matches against each other, with the top two advancing to the final on June 26 in Barbados.
"It's nice to have Mitchell Starc back bowling the way he is," Smith told reporters before the team's departure.
"He's looking fresh and bowling at good pace.
"Hopefully, some of the South African and West Indies batsmen are a little bit scared at the moment.
"It's exciting to have him back and hopefully he can have some success straight away, or pick up where he left off."
Starc has been charging in off his full run-up and bowling with impressive pace at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane over the past few days in preparation for the West Indies trip.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade was struck a painful blow in the stomach from Starc in the nets on Monday.
Smith, who came home from the Indian Premier League early with injury, said he was fit to take his place on the tour.
Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, who both suffered from side strains in India, are also expected to be OK for the tri-series opener against the West Indies in Guyana on June 5.
"I think they're both going to be right to go," Smith said.
"Maxy's had a chance to recover and I think he'll be fine for the first game.
"We'll wait until we get over there and the medical staff can assess him then but I think he's tracking really well.
"Mitch Marsh has been getting through his loads up here this week, he's been bowling well and batting well."
Smith dispelled concerns about his fitness, saying he had fully recovered from the wrist injury that cut short his IPL season earlier this month.
"It's coming along good, it was nice to rest it for a couple of weeks and not pick up a bat or catch any balls. It's done it the world of good," he said.
Justin Langer, the former Test opener and current coach of Western Australia, will stand in as head coach in place of Darren Lehmann, who has been given an extended break from touring after suffering from deep-vein thrombosis earlier this year.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, George Bailey, Scott Boland, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
All 152 people involved in the ongoing series returned negative COVID-19 tests on Friday, prompting the two boards to agree to the resumption.
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