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Starc likely to return in Sydney

180   //    03 Jan 2018, 08:01 IST
Australia bowler Mitchell Starc

Australia paceman Mitchell Starc appears set to return from injury in the fifth Ashes Test against England as the hosts opt for one spinner.

Starc missed the drawn fourth Test in Melbourne due to a heel injury, but the left-armer's return is set to boost the hosts in the final match of the series in Sydney.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Australia captain Steve Smith said Starc – the leading wicket-taker of the series – was fit.

"Starcy pulled up pretty well this morning," Smith, whose team hold an unassailable 3-0 series lead, said.

"He says he's ready to go."

Smith missed training on Tuesday due to a sore back, but the captain played down the significance of the injury.

"It's a little bit stiff but nothing I haven't dealt with before so I'll have a good hit today and a catch and I'll be fine tomorrow," he said.

Australia added Ashton Agar to their squad for the final Test, but it appears the left-armer will be overlooked.

Smith said the green SCG wicket meant the hosts would likely go into the Test with just one spinner in Nathan Lyon.


"The wicket has got a fair bit of grass and it looks to be a pretty good wicket so I'd say we'd probably opt for just the one spinner," he said.

"Nathan's done a terrific job throughout this series and I'd say we'd go down that route."

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