Australia in India 2012-13 March 19, 2013

Starc flies home for ankle surgery

72

Mitchell Starc will fly home from India to have surgery on his ankle and will miss the fourth and final Test in Delhi.

Starc has been affected by bone spurs in his right ankle for some time and the problem was a key factor in him being rested for the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, and while he was able to continue through the rest of the Australian summer and the Indian tour, the Australians are hoping an early operation will ensure he is fully fit for the Ashes.

Starc was one of Australia's strongest performers in the loss in Mohali, where he scored 99 and 35, and collected two wickets during a spell of impressive swing bowling with the second new ball in India's second innings. However, with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy now in India's hands, the Australian team management decided that Starc's injury was best dealt with immediately to give him the best chance of being available for the tour of England.

"Mitch has been experiencing ankle pain related to bone spurs during the India Test series and whilst manageable, this represents an appropriate time for Mitch to have the surgery with a view to having him fully fit for the Ashes in late June," the team doctor Peter Brukner said. "Mitch will have surgery later this week and we'll assess his recovery as he returns to bowling."

Australia's coach Mickey Arthur said Starc could have continued playing but that could have been more of a risk than booking him in for the operation now.

"I think the dilemma with Mitchell Starc, as it has been throughout the whole summer, is he has these bone spurs," Arthur said. "They are going to snap at some stage - we just had to look for what we thought was the best possible window to get them done, or not get them done and just take the risk.

"We looked at it now and just thought 'this is a proper gap for us to be able to get it done, clean it out' so that he can come back with no gamble and no I guess injury cloud at all. It gives us a good window now to get it done properly. In terms of risk this was the best time. He'll be ready we're hoping by the Champions Trophy, if not he'll be 100% ready to go for the Ashes. We just thought it was the best time."

Starc's absence for the Delhi Test could bring Mitchell Johnson into contention to play his first Test of the tour. Johnson and James Pattinson will again be available for selection after being left out due to their failure to complete a team task in Mohali and while Pattinson is a certainty to play, the make-up of the rest of the attack is less clear. The pitch in Delhi is expected to offer significant turn.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    Excellent decision. He is just 23. One of the best among the new crop of OZ fast bowlers. His batting is a bonus. He could be a permanent member of the pace pack for nearly a decade, if not more. Has all the potential to be a good bowling alrounder. And, also a decent boy. He is definitely an improved version of the other Mitchell. Best of luck for a successful surgery and fast recuperation. From an old Indian cricket fan.

  • SamRoy on March 19, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Starc and Pattinson have all the potential to become world class bowling allrounders. Starc needs some improvement in his offside play of fast bowlers and Pattinson needs some improvement in his footwork of spinners.They have the required talent, now the management needs to work on their batting. I think since Watson won't bowl, these two should bat at 7 and 8 and Australia should play 4 pacers and a spinner or 3 pacers and 2 spinners depending on the conditions.

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    Starc was very good with both the bat and the ball in Mohali. He will be sadly missed by the Australians. One way, it was a good strategy by Australians since they already lost the Series, they want him to be fully recovered before the Ashes. The other option is that Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson are available for Delhi test and they could choose both of them. My team for Delhi test will be: 1. Warner, 2. Cowan. 3. Hughes, 4. Clarke (if fit)/Khawaja, 5. Smith, 6. Watson, 7. Haddin, 8. Mitchell Johnson, 9. Siddle, 10. Lyon and 11. Pattinson. I think this team will be ideal for the Delhi test and I am confident the Australians will give a good fight.

  • Wefinishthis on March 22, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    Meety - I dismiss Siddle because he hasn't performed in the series we needed him to. An average of 35 at home against England, 38 at home against SA followed by an average of 33 currently in this India series is not good enough. This contributed in all of those series (along with Lyon and others) in allowing the opposition to pile up 400+ scores, which cost us both series and the no.1 ranking. I'm not saying Zampa and Agar should be in the starting XI, just the squad, but be honest, could they do ANY worse than Doherty or Lyon in the SA or India series? There's really nothing to lose. HatsforBats - McGrath did say that, but I disagree with him in that he wouldn't have been much more effective (if any). He's already IMO the greatest along with Marshall. Secondly, Steyn is great because his control is like Philander/McGrath, very consistent and he swings the ball both ways like Akram/Younis used to. He could drop his faster ball and still be great. He couldn't drop his control though.

  • HatsforBats on March 21, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @Wefinishthis, I'm not worshipping at the altar of pace, but it is a tool to be used just like consistency, swing, and movement. Unlike those though, it can't be taught. McGrath said many times if he could bowl as fast as Lee he would. Part of what makes Steyn so great is his ability to suprise batsman with the quicker ball at 150+. Starc at 23 has shown more than enough that he has the goods to become an excellent test bowler. Faulkner also 23 is a great talent and will get his shot, but he is competing against Harris & Bird for a spot, not Starc, and he is not yet as good as those two.

  • Meety on March 21, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    @Wefinishthis on (March 19, 2013, 23:08 GMT) - I have no problems with your theory, but the execution is wrong. How anyone can dismiss what Siddle has been doing for the last 2 years is baffling. I was NOT a fan of Siddle, did NOT want him in the Test team in SL, but he has hardly put a foot wrong since & has the stats to back it. Zampa & Agar CANNOT be considered yet for Oz, they are JUST learning their trade, a perfectly good spinner like Lyon may have sufferred from too much International exposure too soon, & we cannot aford to repeat that with them. They should tour with the A-sides for at least another year & STAY AWAY from BBL or any other 20/20 League. I am happy with our pace stocks, but I have to start asking the question "Why is it only 3 batsmen that scored over 400 runs in the Shield had averages over 50?" One is a former great, another a back up Keeper & the 3rd (Hughes) - nobody wants to play for Oz! Could it be conditions? (TBC)

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Jayzuz - its a Test Match - the idea is to bat for 140 overs+ and see where your at then!! NOT to bat for 20 overs as Warner, Cowan and Hughes do.

  • Wefinishthis on March 20, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Shaggy076 - I hope you're right, but injuries aside, I doubt very much the selectors will pick Harris in the starting XI again. They seem set in their ways on 'backing' the average bowlers like Starc, Johnson and Siddle because they think ethereal things like 'experience' and 'backing' are more important than actual talent. The obvious first choice lineup for the ashes is O'Keefe, Harris, Pattinson, Bird and whilst they seem to now recognise Pattinson as a starter, there just won't be enough room for them all to start the first test since they'll likely 'back' Lyon again along with Pattinson and inexplicably Starc and Siddle (the exact same lineup that failed embarrassingly in the first test India). If we're struggling to take 10 wickets for under 500 runs/innings as we have all series (which means we can't win), it's a problem with the bowlers, not our batting order which has been getting all the attention. Starc, Doherty and Lyon have been the major contributers to our downfall.

  • Shaggy076 on March 20, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Wefinishthis; They are simply in front of Harris because until a fortnight ago he hadnt played a first class match for around 10 months. I got no doubt Harris will go to the Ashes and be part of the team.

  • Shaggy076 on March 20, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Popcorn ; Your argument about the Argus review being the reason Hughes shouldnt be picked is seriously flawed. The Argus review was to pick the most inform batsman at the time and during the Sheffield Shield season Phil Hughes was the most inform batsman. Khawaja has been given sniffs of opportunities but never beaten the door down to cement a spot. It will come and Khawaja if he is going to be any sort of success at Test level will realise he still needs to do more and make sure the selectors cant pick him. If he cant realise this then he was never going to have the mental fortitude to be a success at test level. As for Warner I agree with Jayzuz here, Australia 2-0 down had to press hard for victory and it didnt work. I think Warner has showed significant improvement over the last 12 months and believe he will be a decent test opener.

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    Excellent decision. He is just 23. One of the best among the new crop of OZ fast bowlers. His batting is a bonus. He could be a permanent member of the pace pack for nearly a decade, if not more. Has all the potential to be a good bowling alrounder. And, also a decent boy. He is definitely an improved version of the other Mitchell. Best of luck for a successful surgery and fast recuperation. From an old Indian cricket fan.

  • SamRoy on March 19, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Starc and Pattinson have all the potential to become world class bowling allrounders. Starc needs some improvement in his offside play of fast bowlers and Pattinson needs some improvement in his footwork of spinners.They have the required talent, now the management needs to work on their batting. I think since Watson won't bowl, these two should bat at 7 and 8 and Australia should play 4 pacers and a spinner or 3 pacers and 2 spinners depending on the conditions.

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    Starc was very good with both the bat and the ball in Mohali. He will be sadly missed by the Australians. One way, it was a good strategy by Australians since they already lost the Series, they want him to be fully recovered before the Ashes. The other option is that Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson are available for Delhi test and they could choose both of them. My team for Delhi test will be: 1. Warner, 2. Cowan. 3. Hughes, 4. Clarke (if fit)/Khawaja, 5. Smith, 6. Watson, 7. Haddin, 8. Mitchell Johnson, 9. Siddle, 10. Lyon and 11. Pattinson. I think this team will be ideal for the Delhi test and I am confident the Australians will give a good fight.

  • Wefinishthis on March 22, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    Meety - I dismiss Siddle because he hasn't performed in the series we needed him to. An average of 35 at home against England, 38 at home against SA followed by an average of 33 currently in this India series is not good enough. This contributed in all of those series (along with Lyon and others) in allowing the opposition to pile up 400+ scores, which cost us both series and the no.1 ranking. I'm not saying Zampa and Agar should be in the starting XI, just the squad, but be honest, could they do ANY worse than Doherty or Lyon in the SA or India series? There's really nothing to lose. HatsforBats - McGrath did say that, but I disagree with him in that he wouldn't have been much more effective (if any). He's already IMO the greatest along with Marshall. Secondly, Steyn is great because his control is like Philander/McGrath, very consistent and he swings the ball both ways like Akram/Younis used to. He could drop his faster ball and still be great. He couldn't drop his control though.

  • HatsforBats on March 21, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @Wefinishthis, I'm not worshipping at the altar of pace, but it is a tool to be used just like consistency, swing, and movement. Unlike those though, it can't be taught. McGrath said many times if he could bowl as fast as Lee he would. Part of what makes Steyn so great is his ability to suprise batsman with the quicker ball at 150+. Starc at 23 has shown more than enough that he has the goods to become an excellent test bowler. Faulkner also 23 is a great talent and will get his shot, but he is competing against Harris & Bird for a spot, not Starc, and he is not yet as good as those two.

  • Meety on March 21, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    @Wefinishthis on (March 19, 2013, 23:08 GMT) - I have no problems with your theory, but the execution is wrong. How anyone can dismiss what Siddle has been doing for the last 2 years is baffling. I was NOT a fan of Siddle, did NOT want him in the Test team in SL, but he has hardly put a foot wrong since & has the stats to back it. Zampa & Agar CANNOT be considered yet for Oz, they are JUST learning their trade, a perfectly good spinner like Lyon may have sufferred from too much International exposure too soon, & we cannot aford to repeat that with them. They should tour with the A-sides for at least another year & STAY AWAY from BBL or any other 20/20 League. I am happy with our pace stocks, but I have to start asking the question "Why is it only 3 batsmen that scored over 400 runs in the Shield had averages over 50?" One is a former great, another a back up Keeper & the 3rd (Hughes) - nobody wants to play for Oz! Could it be conditions? (TBC)

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Jayzuz - its a Test Match - the idea is to bat for 140 overs+ and see where your at then!! NOT to bat for 20 overs as Warner, Cowan and Hughes do.

  • Wefinishthis on March 20, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Shaggy076 - I hope you're right, but injuries aside, I doubt very much the selectors will pick Harris in the starting XI again. They seem set in their ways on 'backing' the average bowlers like Starc, Johnson and Siddle because they think ethereal things like 'experience' and 'backing' are more important than actual talent. The obvious first choice lineup for the ashes is O'Keefe, Harris, Pattinson, Bird and whilst they seem to now recognise Pattinson as a starter, there just won't be enough room for them all to start the first test since they'll likely 'back' Lyon again along with Pattinson and inexplicably Starc and Siddle (the exact same lineup that failed embarrassingly in the first test India). If we're struggling to take 10 wickets for under 500 runs/innings as we have all series (which means we can't win), it's a problem with the bowlers, not our batting order which has been getting all the attention. Starc, Doherty and Lyon have been the major contributers to our downfall.

  • Shaggy076 on March 20, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Wefinishthis; They are simply in front of Harris because until a fortnight ago he hadnt played a first class match for around 10 months. I got no doubt Harris will go to the Ashes and be part of the team.

  • Shaggy076 on March 20, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Popcorn ; Your argument about the Argus review being the reason Hughes shouldnt be picked is seriously flawed. The Argus review was to pick the most inform batsman at the time and during the Sheffield Shield season Phil Hughes was the most inform batsman. Khawaja has been given sniffs of opportunities but never beaten the door down to cement a spot. It will come and Khawaja if he is going to be any sort of success at Test level will realise he still needs to do more and make sure the selectors cant pick him. If he cant realise this then he was never going to have the mental fortitude to be a success at test level. As for Warner I agree with Jayzuz here, Australia 2-0 down had to press hard for victory and it didnt work. I think Warner has showed significant improvement over the last 12 months and believe he will be a decent test opener.

  • Jayzuz on March 20, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    @popcorn, we didn't need Warner to "play steady". We needed him to attack from the word go while the ball was hard. That was Australia's best chance, and this was clearly what he was instructed to do. So it didn't work this time. It's called taking a risk for a reason. At least we had a shot at it, unlike Dhoni and Smith, who are unbelievably defensive as soon as the prospect of a loss emerges.

  • Jayzuz on March 20, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    Not a bad decision at all. And time to give the other Mitch a shot. He is a more skiddy bowler, and those bowlers are better in Indian conditions. Starc's greatest asset has always been the incredible bounce he gets off the surface, but the Indians made sure they didn't have to deal with that. Many of his bouncers were getting up to waist high in this last test, and I suspect the track was spot-doctored again to negate him. That left him with swing - but on the second day there was no swing for either team, and with no bounce or seam that meant that 450 runs in the day was the result. When the swing came back on days 3 and 4, batting was much harder vs the pace bowlers (with the new ball), even as the pitch started spinning.

  • funkybluesman on March 19, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    Unless Australia are going to consider flying over O'Keefe for the final test, or taking a punt of a youngster like Agar, they really should go with three pace bowlers, regardless of the pitch. Doherty is a waste of space in test cricket. It was the stupidist of selections picking him basically on the basis of him being the preferred one day/T20 spinner, but while he may do okay in the short forms, he's not close to being up to test level.

  • Wefinishthis on March 19, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    hycIass - you are correct as usual. HatsforBats - Fair enough, but why is that important? McGrath was a medium-pace trundler who one of the best bowlers ever. Philander is not particularly quick either but he is the current best. Johnson can be quick, Brett Lee and Shoaib were undeniably quick, but if you're really honest with yourself, which bowlers were more EFFECTIVE? This is exactly the problem with selectors everywhere. Why is Praven Kumar overlooked for Ishant Sharma? Why is Siddle and Starc ahead of Harris and Bird? Starc is fast, yes, but fast does not equal wickets, which are the most important thing to winning test matches. What matters is effectiveness, not speed. What is effective? Bowling accurately with a hint of unpredictable movement (ie seam/bounce/swing/spin) that is just enough to find the edge of the bat. South Africa have younger, faster bowlers than Philander and Steyn, but their selectors understand this and that's why they're the unbeatable No.1.

  • Unmesh_cric on March 19, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    Now Australian BATTING is going to suffer more. Starc was one of their in-form batsmen!

  • mzm149 on March 19, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Australia is lucky that they have have plenty of quality fast bowling options to choose from: Starc, Pattinson, Siddle , Watson, Hilfenhaus, Harris, Cummins, McKay, Bird, Johnson, Henriques, Christian etc. They should also groom quality spinners to make themselves unbeatable.

  • Doogius on March 19, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Further proof that the Oz selectors have no idea. The linked article above is highly enlightening. Knew about the spurs at the end of the WI tour but the view was that he needed a 3 mth rehab. There was no time with India and England coming up. Now, at the end of the India tour, somehow a 'window' has opened up. No mention that if he goes in next week, he'll be ready 3-4 days before the 1st Ashes test - and at that point we'll probably be so desperate we'll pick him. How about the truth, our player management policy decided under some bizarre criteria that it was worth risking Starc for the year. Well, despite only playing 2 tests, he didn't even make it through March. Someone has seriously bungled this, how about fessing up for a change. And you wonder why players are not doing home work - no respect for the teachers...

  • seantells on March 19, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    Mitch should've given chance before starc , his short boncer coud create problems and ofcourse he's pacy

  • Beertjie on March 19, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    To-morrow Arthur will announce that Henriques will be replaced by Watson and that Khawaja will replace Clarke if he's not passed fit. On Friday Clarke will be passed fit.

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    very good decision taken by the australian management..........it is the right time to preserve this type of young quickes for the future....it would be better if they bring mitchell johnson into the playing eleven.....

  • popcorn on March 19, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Now that the series is lost,and unfortunately, Mitchell Starc has to return home for ankle surgery, it is best that we test Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson in the Delhi Test. Otherwise, do you think they were taken on the Tour just for the ride? And if the Team management is questioning the attitude of Usman Khawaja, what did they expect? He is a guy who has consistently scored in Shield Cricket, has played Test Cricket,so knows what it is and on the other hand you have the PERENNIAL FAILURE (THRICE) Phil Hughes selected ON WHAT BASIS? Performance? Then what was the Argus Review to select based on performance all about? And look at the irresponsible David Warner. When we needed him most to play steady, build a foundation,the fellow FLASHES outside the off stump and gets out - AND THIS IS THE SECOND TIME - he did it at the WACA against South Africa. His ARDENT Admiirer, Ian Chappell may say "that's he way he plays". WE LOST BOTH TESTS. Sic. Doherty should be dropped too.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on March 19, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Its so easy to forget the royal thrashing OZ got in three tests! Now fans are ignoring how bad is the current oz team and wondering about ashes. It clearly shows Oz does not respect test cricket and trying new ways to hide their misery. Winning and losing, take both in high spirits and it will make you number one. India lost 8-0 away and lost to England 2-1 at home, but atleast they identified the problem and in a process of fixing it. Oz should have done their homework after losing to Saf but winning against SL 3-0 gave them false hopes.

  • Robert1612 on March 19, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    As has been stated by other posts, this should allow Johnson to play in Delhi as a direct replacement for Starc. Should have got a game sooner IMO - everyone bemoaning the lack of experience in Indian conditions yet MJ has that vital experience and not utilised!? Best of luck to Australia in the 4th test with whatever combination they come up with! Surely the NSP can do better for the Ashes. They need Cowan, Clarke and Watson (if fit to bowl) for their leadership abilities in a young team. Three top 6 younger batsmen, from Warner, Hughes, Khawaja and Smith. A reserve batsman Doolan or Burns seem to be next in line. Wk, either Haddin/Wade, Pace: Patto, Starc, MJ, Siddle, Bird, Hilfy, Harris would all do a great job. The last part of the puzzle is a spinner ... is Lyon our best option?? Do they give O'keefe a go? What about Beer if fit, would probably be in India and doing a much better job than Doherty.

  • blink182alex on March 19, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @Farzi1986, we are finding it hard enough with 11 players, i don't think selecting 10 players and leaving out the keeper will help things.

    The Starc decision makes sense, if it was 2-1 then you could play him but there is no point risking him when he can sort his ankle out in time for the Ashes. Hopefully he will be back in time for the Champions Trophy. I also think that he will be around the test side for the next 10 or so years, so with the ability he has with the bat he will score a test 100 at some point, if Jerome Taylor can do it Starc can.

  • Farzi1986 on March 19, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    My line up would be: Ed Cowan David warner Shane Watson M. Clarke Usman Khwaja Steven Smith James Pattinson Nathon Lyon Peter Siddle Xavier Doherty

    I feel this would be the best combination. I hope Clarke is watching.

  • SirViv1973 on March 19, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    The decison makes sense. Starc has had a hard time in Ind. I haven't checked the stats but I think hes only managed a couple of wickets at about a 100 apiece, so keeping him there particularly with an injury would do his confidence no good at all. I still see him in Aus best 3 man seam attack for the ashes with Siddle & Pattinson. Aus will once again need to shuffle the pack for Delhi. Pattinson will come back in & Starc's unanavialibity could lead to an opportunity for Johnson for whom there is a genuine possibility of being left out the ashes squad all together, depending on who's fit. With Watson coming back & Hughes & Smith getting runs in Mohali fans favorite Khawalja looks like he may miss out yet again, unless Clarke isn't passed fit. Henriques has been inefficetive in the last 2 games after a promising debut & may pay the price with Smith taking over the allrounder slot. poss team for Delhi, Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Watson,Clarke,Smith,Haddin,Johnson,Siddle,Pattinson,Lyon.

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    OZ will miss his batting more than his bowling, somehow he has discovered handling of spinners much better than his batter colleagues!!!

  • Thefakebook on March 19, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    I think its very good call on the management behalf,Starc is too much of valued player to be risked at a lost series. Johnson and Patto will be a good combination. Sad to see MJ one of the Veterans of OZ cricket warm the bench for 3 games and play in a dead rubber.Anyways hope Starc makes to Ashes along with Bird.

  • on March 19, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    This seems to me extremely disrespectful to India. After losing the first two tests, Australia deliberately fielded a weakened team at Mohali, and now they are doing the same for the 4th test as well. So in effect they have treated this tour as a future development process for their players. I would be fascinated to see the actual directions given by Cricket Australia to the tour management group, as winning test matches clearly isn't their priority. I know that any Australian stepping onto the field will certainly be trying 100%, but right now it really doesn't look like their management is.

  • HatsforBats on March 19, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @Fleming_Mitch, I noticed those outstanding performances as well, though I didn't know whether to be impressed or dismayed that they came so soon after the domestic T20 season. @ Wefinishthis, I agree 100% re: the selectors. But Faulkner & Starc are completely different beasts. While both can be very handy #8 bats, Faulkner (a very talented young man) is a first change bowler who bowls too many slower balls, while Starc is a pure bred 6'6" 145kph+ strike bowler and surely one of the greatest bowling prospects in the world. Zampa/Agar? Really? They should be no where near this side, and with Cummins should spend many years in shield before being called up. I would love to see Harris & Bird as our first choice line up.

  • PrasPunter on March 19, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @Vishwanath, can you enlighten on how qualified you are to conclude that we were lacking sportsmanship ? Can you please define that ? We always played it hard and aggressive. And there is something common among all those who cried about this - they all got battered by us.

  • AKS286 on March 19, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    How Clever Clarke is. Really, Clarke will not play in Delhi test. So, he & his favourite players are not going to play and all axed players will definately play sure. Hughes, Watto, smith, Khawaja, Haddin, moises, MJ, Siddle, Pattin, Doherty. sure this team will play.

  • beggars on March 19, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Starc & Pattinson have all the talent required to be a good all rounder. These two gentlemen shall have ruled world cricket 10 years down the line. May India produce bowlers half as good as these two....

  • hycIass on March 19, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    These injuries show that something is not right with the argus. I'm opposed to the people they chose to implement the , the manager, coach etc. A report can be the most brilliant piece of material addressing issues of concern. But if you get the wrong people in there running it, its value goes out the window. There are things the report cant account for like personality, communication, bias, skill, temperament, common sense. No report can prepare for that. It all depends on how good you are at choosing the right people for the job. They didnt pick the right people for the job and the consequences, even before the Indian tour, have been blindingly evident. At present we are not getting selections right, in a key game at Mohali we keep our best fast bowler in Pattinson out, Khawaja has been on standby for 3 months and not played any shield games as well, how is that a smart decision, surely he comes in Dehli and Johnson despite a great summer is still waiting for his first game in India

  • mandi on March 19, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    good decision by him,players should think about there future too.

  • on March 19, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    There is a lot of difference between the previous Aussies team and present team. The present team has spirit of sports... Irrespective of winning or loosing. They were cool and tried hard to win. The previous team was winning... but the element of sportsmanship was missing.

    Good to see new players emerging on OZ side... We would like to see the same quality of cricket in the past with great sportsmanship.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 19, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    I am amazed that Starc needs to be out for Mitchell Johnson to be in contention. Mitchell Johnson should have been the *first bowler chosen* for all 4 tests. He is in amazing form, has a fantastic record in India and at his peak is one of the best bowlers in the world. Why has he been sitting out? Mitchell Johnson would have made all the difference during India's chase yesterday. How absurd has it been that he has been missing out? I am sad to see Starc miss as he has been a lot better than Phil Hughes with batting, and, while his bowling hasn't been ideal, it is a lot better than most of the others. This is sad news indeed but if it means that Johnson is in contention then it has that silver lining.

  • on March 19, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    anyways the Australians are gonna lose badly again... they can afford to send the whole team back home & give practice to youngsters... :P :D

  • on March 19, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Australia should play following team in Delhi: Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith, Haddin, Johnson, Pattinson, Lyon, Doherty. Drop Warner and Henriques and rest Siddle.

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Great cricketer, Starc: sorry to see him go but let's see what the original Mitch, (Johnson) can produce at Delhi!

  • raj_n on March 19, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Starc is still in his early days and he is making the same mistakes Ishant Sharma did. I hope someone sensible from the Aussie camp grabs hold of him and teaches him to think wickets. He has genuine potential and can be a good all rounder in time.

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 19, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Patto to replace Starc Did anyone else notice some of the performances in the last round of Shield games?Hazlewood, 13 overs 2 for 11 in the first innings (Ferguson and Sayers), and 14 overs 3 for 35 (1, 3 and Botha) in the 2nd. All up 27 overs, for 5 for 46. 10 wickets at 15 in the last two games Copeland has suddenly become an all rounder, batting above SOK and scoring runs. He scored 51 and 40 in the last two games.Chasing 91 for the outright victory, Maddinson scored 41 off 17, with 5 sixes! Yes, 5 zacks in 17 deliveries. In the last two games that makes 144 runs, in 117 balls, including that 41no and a 70.Sayers took 5 for 53 in NSW's 1st innings. In 12 FC matches now, he has 59 wickets at 20 apiece. I've never Ryan Harris took 8 for 106 in a losing team last match. Our domestic scene is getting stronger. Now we just need the guys in the gang of 4 to come back in the 4th test. Khawaja must get his shot, he has been on the bench for the last 4 months and deserves his shot.

  • GRVJPR on March 19, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    So just two matches in little hard conditions and they fly back home. Atleast Ishant never complains and keep trying

  • Mervo on March 19, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Johnson is the fastest and most successful (+200 Test wickets) of Australia's quicks. He should have been playing much sooner.

  • Mitty2 on March 19, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Finally, a good decision by Australian management. This decision actually brings a smile to my face. Starc despite what @wefinishthis and @Showbags88, is our best prospect behind bird. Yes, I rate him higher than Cummings and pattinson (as prospects, not currently), and the others in cutting, coulter-Nile and Faulkner. Starc has a much better chance to swing the bowl with his seam than johnson, and johnsono has had some pretty good spells hasnt he? and Starc can swing it both ways; due to his height he extractsts more bounce than johno and without the spurs he can bowl 145+. Even with the spurs, and all though it was the white bowl, he got it between 145-150 consistently. His only problem is his tendency to float it up there instead of putting the effort into the fuller bowl, but still, he, like hilfenhaus, is a swing bowler, and he, unlike hilfenhaus, will actually pitch it up so he can swing it. He, bird, patto and faulkner + SOK is more than a formidable bowling attack.

  • Scube on March 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    The bigger concern for the Aussies is not that they will miss a very good bowler, but their best batsman from the Mohali test!!

  • phunny_game on March 19, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Though Starc won't be available but Australia still has a problem of plenty... If Clarke is fit, then the team management will have to scratch their heads... Clarke, Watson, Smith, Hughes, Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Haddin, Wade... Everyone has performed now. Even the fast bowling department... I guess only two fast bowlers are enough for the Delhi pitch. So pattinson, siddle and johnson will fight it out for two spots. I think Siddle should be rested. He has bowled a lot in the last three matches. Not a difficult choice in the all rounder slot... Henriques clearly isn't the best batsman and his bowling doesn't inspire confidence in India. And why even play an all rounder at all, when both the all rounders are more of a liability.

  • Wefinishthis on March 19, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Showbags88 - Absolutely spot on, shame you're not a selector. Starc and Johnson are liabilities. Harris and Pattinson are our PROVEN best bowlers, anyone who's followed the game for the past few years would know that. Bird has been our best 'new' bowler and O'Keefe is our best spinner. Those four should be our standard lineup and could rip through any lineup on any pitch in the world. Everything else should revolve around them with Faulkner (our no.1 left armer), Siddle, Cummins, Lyon and possibly Zampa/Agar to come in depending on form, injuries and the pitch/conditions. It really is a no-brainer for the selectors, but they're doing 2 things wrong. 1. Thinking that ODI performances > Shield performances for test cricket - Demonstrably wrong. 2. They're trying to please everyone by 'backing' them or 'rotating' them to cover for the truth that they have no idea what they're doing. This is actually having the opposite effect and is hurting morale. The players want performances rewarded.

  • SRK666 on March 19, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    @pvwadekar, DeekshaSpeaks, vawami: There is no "insult" here. Australia brought Starc along because they wanted to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, and thought that he was one of the best players to help do that.

    The reason why they are only /now/ sending Starc back for surgery is because there is no longer any chance of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

    In other words, Australia aren't saying that the Ashes are the only thing that matters, or even that they're more important than the BG trophy. Rather, they are just saying the Ashes are more important than a dead rubber.

  • vswami on March 19, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    If Ashes is the only thing that matters, why bother turning up at all. I dont think a bowler would be rested from a Ashes test because an India tour is coming.

  • Meety on March 19, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    People complain about rotation - but situations like this really do become Informed Player Management!

  • DeekshaSpeaks on March 19, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    In a way it's sort of insulting because they don't consider an India tour as important as the Ashes because they're not playing one of their best fast bowlers. Still, don't see how one extra week or a Test match in India would have hurt him OR Australia as he, along with Pattinson and Michael Clarke, is the key to their fortunes. Anyway let's hope he recovers well in time for the Ashes if not Champions Trophy and returns to destroy England's top order and help Australia win the Ashes back.

  • Showbags88 on March 19, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    I wouldn't play Starc anyway. Can bowl a great spell but can often bowl poorly and put pressure on the other bowlers to keep it tight at the other end (ala Johnson). Bird, Siddle, Pattinson and Harris are all above him imo and all 4 could play in the same team if the pitch suits. I'd also play O'Keefe instead of Lyon as he is as meiserly as any bowler going around and can contribute alot more to the team than Lyon, Doherty etc with his batting and fielding.

  • Barnesy4444 on March 19, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Pattinson, Starc, Cummins and Siddle all fit and firing. I'm looking forward to the Ashes. There's just this pesky 4th Indian test first.

  • HowdyRowdy on March 19, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Starc collected two wickets in India's first innings, not the second innings, as stated in the article.

    Match figures of 2 for 125, so just OK with the ball - Starc's main contribution was with the bat.

    At this stage of his career, Starc is still a one trick pony, who doesn't offer much if his favoured inswing is missing. A straight swap of Johnson for Starc would not disadvantage Australia's bowling (assuming Australia continues to rely on the seamers).

  • pvwadekar on March 19, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    What is going on !!!!. If he had bone spurs, then get them treated and properly rested for the 10 Ashes test matches.. what is the point of coming to India ???. I really dont get it --Patrick Cummins, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Stark all down with some ailment or another, despite the rotation policy. Aussies have an incredible fast bowling resources compared to anyone else, but they cannot win if people keep on breaking down.

  • Nerk on March 19, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    This is what is wrong with Australia's management. The series is lost, but a test match is still a test match, and they are going in to that match without Australia's best batsman. Sack the lot I say.

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    A fine player. Get well soon Mitchell ! Future all-rounder for Australia !!

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    He will be sorely missed more for his batting than his bowling. Siddle seems to have regained his form and was impressive.

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Australia certainly lost a good batter!

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    strac's injury is a real blow for autralia.they just lost one of their "specialist batsman"

  • palla.avinash on March 19, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    Even australia play on fast tracks and there many seamers get injured ands no one asks how fit they are, but if an Indian fast bowler who bowls most on flat tracks in hot sun gets injured they keep asking his fitness level and commitment what a pity.Get well and play ashes for your country mitchel starc not just as a bowler but as all rounder.

  • chilled_avenger on March 19, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    So now Australia miay have to play the 4th test without their two Best batsman,Clarke and Strac.

  • landl47 on March 19, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    Although Starc's been bowling all right, he hasn't seemed to have the same pep that he showed earlier in the year. Some of that is down to the pitches, no doubt, but playing in pain isn't conducive to going all out.

    Let's hope he's fit for the Ashes, I'd like to see him in English conditions. When he was playing for Yorkshire last year he seemed well suited to bowling on English pitches.

  • ramli on March 19, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    So ... aus hopes of winning Delhi test has evaporated with the departure of one of their BEST batsmen!!!

  • satishchandar on March 19, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Yet another blow to already blown team. Bring in Pattinson and Johnson for Henriques and Starc. Henriques lost batting ever since his good debut. Both can bat a bit and can make it up for Henriques's batting. My 11, Warner, Cowan, Watson, Khawaja, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Doherty. Clarke for Khawaja if Clarke stays fit. If no double spin, go for either Khawaja or Maxwell..

  • Hoggy_1989 on March 19, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    It wouldn't matter if the pitch in Delhi offered significant turn or no turn at all. The facts are facts: the Australian Test team has a less effective bowling attack on Indian soil than the Indians do, and the Indians play spin bowling better than the Australians. As a result, on Indian soil...they are the better team.

  • cricketfanwrites on March 19, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Its safe to assume CA has nothing to play for in the remaining test. Hence, they've decided that Starc will have early surgery. I applaud this move. Having made that move, the following should/will take place if CA decide not to send replacements. They will sit; Clarke who has a bad back, Wade with a bad ankle and Warner with a bruised thumb. 1.Watson will captain the side and open along side 2. Cowan, 3. Hughes (they will hope he has a good showing again), 4. Khawaja (they will hope he fails) 5. Smith 6. Haddin 7. Maxwell 8.Johnson 9. Siddle 10. Lyon 11. Pattinson. If this side plays, I hope Aus wins or draw the final test. I never thought CA selections committee would become the laughing stock of cricket. They have made the WI selectors look like geniuses.

  • on March 19, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    australia should play this team for 4th test match: 1.warner 2.cowan 3. hughes 4.watson 5.khawaja 6.smith 7.haddin 8.johnson 9.pattinson 10.siddle 11.lyon (i will rest clarke).

  • handyandy on March 19, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Australia just doesn't seem to be able to keep its bowlers fit.

    Hopefully Pattinson and Johnson manage to get their homework done in time for the final test.

  • SRK666 on March 19, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    Here's a thought: what if Starc misses the first Ashes Test, but would have been fit for it had he left the Indian tour before the 3rd Test to have the surgery? Was Starc only kept on for the 3rd Test because Johnson + Pattinson were made unavailable for selection by Arthur/Clarke?

    I don't think Starc is that essential to Australia's pace attack---Pattinson + Siddle are more reliable performers, I don't think Starc is all that much better than Johnson (if at all), and there's still Bird + Cummins to return from injury. But this would be a slightly embarrassing situation for the Australian coaching staff.

  • Collegefastbowler on March 19, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    Hopefully India will win the toss at Delhi in which case Australia may lose within 3 days and the entire team can fly home early.

  • Collegefastbowler on March 19, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    Hopefully India will win the toss at Delhi in which case Australia may lose within 3 days and the entire team can fly home early.

  • SRK666 on March 19, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    Here's a thought: what if Starc misses the first Ashes Test, but would have been fit for it had he left the Indian tour before the 3rd Test to have the surgery? Was Starc only kept on for the 3rd Test because Johnson + Pattinson were made unavailable for selection by Arthur/Clarke?

    I don't think Starc is that essential to Australia's pace attack---Pattinson + Siddle are more reliable performers, I don't think Starc is all that much better than Johnson (if at all), and there's still Bird + Cummins to return from injury. But this would be a slightly embarrassing situation for the Australian coaching staff.

  • handyandy on March 19, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Australia just doesn't seem to be able to keep its bowlers fit.

    Hopefully Pattinson and Johnson manage to get their homework done in time for the final test.

  • on March 19, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    australia should play this team for 4th test match: 1.warner 2.cowan 3. hughes 4.watson 5.khawaja 6.smith 7.haddin 8.johnson 9.pattinson 10.siddle 11.lyon (i will rest clarke).

  • cricketfanwrites on March 19, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Its safe to assume CA has nothing to play for in the remaining test. Hence, they've decided that Starc will have early surgery. I applaud this move. Having made that move, the following should/will take place if CA decide not to send replacements. They will sit; Clarke who has a bad back, Wade with a bad ankle and Warner with a bruised thumb. 1.Watson will captain the side and open along side 2. Cowan, 3. Hughes (they will hope he has a good showing again), 4. Khawaja (they will hope he fails) 5. Smith 6. Haddin 7. Maxwell 8.Johnson 9. Siddle 10. Lyon 11. Pattinson. If this side plays, I hope Aus wins or draw the final test. I never thought CA selections committee would become the laughing stock of cricket. They have made the WI selectors look like geniuses.

  • Hoggy_1989 on March 19, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    It wouldn't matter if the pitch in Delhi offered significant turn or no turn at all. The facts are facts: the Australian Test team has a less effective bowling attack on Indian soil than the Indians do, and the Indians play spin bowling better than the Australians. As a result, on Indian soil...they are the better team.

  • satishchandar on March 19, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Yet another blow to already blown team. Bring in Pattinson and Johnson for Henriques and Starc. Henriques lost batting ever since his good debut. Both can bat a bit and can make it up for Henriques's batting. My 11, Warner, Cowan, Watson, Khawaja, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Doherty. Clarke for Khawaja if Clarke stays fit. If no double spin, go for either Khawaja or Maxwell..

  • ramli on March 19, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    So ... aus hopes of winning Delhi test has evaporated with the departure of one of their BEST batsmen!!!

  • landl47 on March 19, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    Although Starc's been bowling all right, he hasn't seemed to have the same pep that he showed earlier in the year. Some of that is down to the pitches, no doubt, but playing in pain isn't conducive to going all out.

    Let's hope he's fit for the Ashes, I'd like to see him in English conditions. When he was playing for Yorkshire last year he seemed well suited to bowling on English pitches.

  • chilled_avenger on March 19, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    So now Australia miay have to play the 4th test without their two Best batsman,Clarke and Strac.