Starc, Maxwell eye returns with third ODI against India

Mitchell Starc is in line to return to the Australian side for the third and final ODI against India in Rajkot. The fast bowler has been out of international action since the Ashes in July but hinted his comeback is on track as Australia try to avoid a whitewash.

Australia are not concerned about Steven Smith’s formGetty Images

“Leading into the World Cup, it’s not a position that we want to be in,” he said, “but plenty to play for tomorrow in terms of what our make-up of the team looks like, what we want to take into World Cup campaign. We have two or three opportunities after this game before game one of the World Cup. Another chance to get accustomed to the conditions, to adapt to what’s been thrown at us against probably the favourites at the World Cup. Big day for both teams tomorrow.”

Starc also said that the team was not concerned about Steven Smith’s form. Smith missed the South Africa series with a wrist injury and has scores of 41 and 0 so far in the two outings in India.

Another area of concern for Australia heading into the World Cup is Steven Smith’s form. While the 34-year-old missed the South Africa series with a wrist injury, his returns so far in the two ODIs in India read 0 and 41. Starc also suggested that adjusting to the pitches during the World Cup will be key.

“His numbers speak for him,” Starc said of Smith. “He is a high-class player and has been a massive part of all formats for Australia, so no concern there. It is the adjustment factor.

“We have got a lot of guys with IPL experience, we know that the wickets are going to be very different through the night and day, depending on which part of India we play as well. There are not too many grounds where we play back-to-back games so, conditions are going to play a part. We just need to adjust better than what we have in the first two games.”