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Bird to debut, rested Starc 'absolutely shattered'

'Absolutely shattered' ... Mitchell Starc speaks to Peter Siddle, another bowler to be rested this summer.

'Absolutely shattered' ... Mitchell Starc speaks to Peter Siddle, another bowler to be rested this summer. Photo: Getty Images

OUSTED fast bowler Mitchell Starc says he is "absolutely shattered" after he was dropped for the second Test against Sri Lanka at the MCG, beginning on Boxing Day, as part of Australia's contentious rotation policy.

Absolutely shattered… Massive game, good luck to Birdy on debut, he will do an amazing job! 

Starc, who played a key role in guiding Michael Clarke's team to a win in the opening Test in Hobart, has been replaced by debutant Jackson Bird, who will share the new ball.

All smiles .... Test debutant Jackson Bird with Michael Clarke in the nets at the MCG.

All smiles .... Test debutant Jackson Bird with Michael Clarke in the nets at the MCG. Photo: Getty Images

"Absolutely shattered… Massive game, good luck to Birdy on debut, he will do an amazing job! Backing the Aussie boys to go 2-0 up this week!" Starc wrote on Twitter.

Bird, 26, has been the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield in the past two seasons, claiming 87 wickets at 19.72.

"I am going to open the bowling, I am looking forward to that," Bird said.

"In the past 18 months I have been pretty successful in first-class cricket. I have a pretty good record here at the MCG as well and I guess there is always an element of luck in there as well - there are a few injuries going around.

‘‘I feel like I am ready for Test cricket and hopefully I can repay the faith of (coach) Mickey (Arthur) and the selectors.’’

Arthur said Jackson had "all the attributes of a quick bowler."

‘‘He brings line and length. He brings pressure, he swings the ball out, he brings some nice pace,’’ he said.

Starc had said he did not wish to be rested but Australia’s medical staff, using fitness data, believed the tall left-armer would be more susceptible to injury, despite playing just two Tests in a row, had he taken to the field in Melbourne.

Despite analysing the ‘‘well-being’’ reports of players, which is logged with such details as sleep and health issues, Australia already has seven fast bowlers injured. It would have been highly embarrassing had another been hurt.

‘‘That’s a real tough decision to make, it’s a tough conversation and Mitch took it very well,’’ Arthur said.

‘‘He is clearly very disappointed and I wouldn’t expect anything other than that.

‘‘Mitch is our one quick bowler that plays in all three forms of the game.

‘‘We’ve got to be very mindful that we have a lot of cricket coming up and such a lot of important cricket coming up and Mitch will be integral to that as well.

‘‘It’s tough on Mitch. Hopefully he misses one Test to make sure that we don’t have another injury and that he’s ready to go for the one-dayers and is ready to go for the tour of India and he is ready to go for the Ashes.’’

However, the rotation policy is an issue within the team, with Mitchell Johnson admitting serious reservations about it on Sunday.

There is still doubt over the fitness of captain Michael Clarke, recovering from a hamstring strain.

He batted in the MCG nets for 15 minutes and, according to coach Mickey Arthur, is only a ‘‘50-50’’ bet to play.

Clarke has said that he is ‘‘confident’’ of playing, and will be given until Wednesday morning to prove his fitness.

‘‘We will give him until the very last minute before we make that call,’’ Arthur said.

Shane Watson will take charge if Clarke pulls out.

Australian team: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson (vc), Mike Hussey, Matt Wade, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.

29 comments

  • So Starc can't play because he MIGHT get injured. Clarke will probably play and he IS injured.

    Ludicrous. Never has the stupidity of the "rotation" policy been more clear.

    Commenter
    Decima
    Date and time
    December 24, 2012, 1:05PM
    • And yet Peter Siddle continues to get picked

      Commenter
      vitas
      Date and time
      December 24, 2012, 1:41PM
    • Its the right call. Its done in every other sport. Why not in Cricket? When Geelong won the premiereship in 2011, no player played every game. Its especially a good call with back to back tests.
      Starc will be back fresh and raring to go in Sydney.

      Commenter
      Matthew
      Location
      Lane Cove
      Date and time
      December 24, 2012, 2:30PM
    • AFL is a contact sport. You don't rest players for BIG occasions. Sure we've got some injuries but this is Boxing Day test, players train for years for this opportunity. Field your best team for crying out loud.

      Commenter
      Adam
      Location
      Terra Firma
      Date and time
      December 24, 2012, 3:19PM
    • @Matthew how many did Geelong rest in the Grand Final that year?

      Commenter
      Dan
      Location
      Sorrento
      Date and time
      December 24, 2012, 3:38PM
  • Calamatous decision making from the selection panel.
    Look at the strongest teams of the past ten years.
    West Indies - 80s/90s
    Pakistan - Wasim/Waqar
    Australia - Warne/McGrath era.
    England - current
    South Africa - current
    It is quite clear that the best teams in the world get their best 4/5 bowlers on the park game in game out. When did they rest? When did they break down? The only way you strengthen the suspect areas is by bowling MORE! You can do all the gym work you want, but nothing stands up to the rigours of bowling. The biomechanichs of bowling are not able to be reproduced in the gym.
    These guys get paid to PLAY cricket. Not rest. Speaking of which - Pat Cummins. Hasn't played a game in 2 years, yet still collects his minimum $240k from Cricket Australia. Having dead wood like this on the sidelines is a waste of resources/money.
    In all - rotation policy is a joke. Selectors and CA need to take a long hard look at the current bandaid (excuse the pun) solutions.

    Commenter
    pmc
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 24, 2012, 1:09PM
    • "Sports Science" is gaining the same reputation as "Economic Science" - and someone is going to eventually figure out this scam.

      Commenter
      DC
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 24, 2012, 1:27PM
      • Whats economic science?

        Commenter
        greg
        Date and time
        December 24, 2012, 2:01PM
      • Greg, i think economic science is the science of fuel efficiency in cars, getting the best fuel economy and km per L. i'm not sure how it applies in this situation though.

        Commenter
        Ken
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        December 24, 2012, 3:15PM
    • Decima and pmc have summed up the situation quite succinctly. We've replaced one set of clowns (Hilditch et al) with another bunch...........Well, it IS the silly season. Starc is finally showing some form so.......... we show him the door. Incredulity. Exasperation. Sign-off.

      Commenter
      Sandy
      Location
      Sandy
      Date and time
      December 24, 2012, 1:29PM

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