Doubts over Mitchell Johnson's availability for Sydney Test
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson is reportedly nursing a sore left hamstring and could be ruled out of the fourth and final Test of the ongoing Test series against India.
Johnson didn’t travel with the rest of the Australian squad to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), where the match is to be played starting January 6, to take part in the training sessions, and a final call will be made ahead of the fixture. The home team has already won the series 2-0; therefore, it is highly likely that the team management wouldn’t risk their premier fast bowler, especially with the 50-over World Cup starting on February 14.
If the 33-year-old doesn’t make it, either of Peter Siddle or Mitchell Starc will be replacing him. While Siddle was dropped for the second Test of the series after a disappointing 2014 season – one in which he only managed to take 12 wickets in 6 Tests at a bowling average of 53.83, his replacement Starc fared no better either, making way for a returning Ryan Harris in the third Test.
Starc wants to prove himself in whites
Starc, who hasn’t been able to replicate his LOI performances in the longer format of the game, had earlier said he wants to get a shot at it again: "It depends on the fitness levels of other blokes and how they pulled up from last week. I'll always prepare to play, and I feel like the ball's coming out well from the last two BBL games, I'll keep doing the same and preparing to go. It comes back to any cricket that I play, to keep taking wickets and preparing the best I can.”
He added: "I don't get the red ball in my hands too often these days, but it's still a Kookaburra, so it's still going to swing at the start and hopefully reverse somewhere towards the end. In my game, it comes back to my accountability and getting that consistency out of myself."
Siddle looks up to Harris for motivation
The 30-year-old Siddle, meanwhile, is determined to revive his Test career. He said: "You look at Ryan Harris and he is 35 and he is still going, so there is still plenty of time. I have been able to stay fit and on the park for the past three years now, that is a bonus, the body is feeling good.
“I have been good mates with Harris for the past 10 or so years, and watched him go from being a rival coming through to a good player for South Australia and now a teammate in the Australia side."