Starc turns arm over in nets

02 January 2018 22:47:59 GMTPlus10

Mitchell Starc could play in the fifth Ashes Test, after returning to bowling in the nets.

The Australia spearhead, who missed the fourth match at the MCG due to a bruised heel, stepped up his bid to return for the final clash at the SCG.

I haven't spoken to him but he looked like he was bowling quick, running around and not limping.

Pat Cummins

Captain Steve Smith was prevented from training on Tuesday by a sore back, but is expected to have a hit on Wednesday then play the Test that starts the following day.

Starc bowled for longer than Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins or Jackson Bird during the net session, then had a long chat with the team doctor and physio.

Cummins said: "I haven't spoken to him but he looked like he was bowling quick, running around and not limping. He's really keen to play and pretty confident he can play.

"They'll see how he recovers...the last couple of weeks it's certainly got a lot better. He's played a lot of cricket now; he knows his body pretty well and what he can get through."

Selectors won't want to risk Starc unnecessarily as he will be one of Australia's most important assets on their ensuing test tour of South Africa.

The left-armer took part in fielding drills before spending over half an hour bowling off his full run-up.

Pace icon Glenn McGrath says he hopes Starc will be cleared to play.

"If he's 100 per cent fit I'd play him. If he's not quite there then unfortunately they might have to let him have a rest and have him get ready for South Africa," he added.

Australia are 1.66 to win the fifth Test, with England 4.50 and the draw 4.33.

Australia are 1.50 to have a first innings lead.

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