Steve Smith set to play the first Test against Sri Lanka; Mitchell Starc doubtful

Australia's former skipper, Steve Smith is likely to play the first Test against Sri Lanka. Pacer, Mitchell Starc though remains doubtful.

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Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc

Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc: (Image Source: Twitter)

Star Australian Batter Steve Smith has confirmed his place in the first Test against Sri Lanka scheduled to start on 29th June at the Galle International stadium, Galle at 10: 00 am. However, seamer Mitchell Starc, needs to go through a crucial net session to confirm his availability.

Australia are surrounded by injury woes as Travis head is also recovering from a hamstring strain. Ashton Agar’s side strain has also cost him a potential Test recall. Both Starc and Smith shone for Australia on their last tour to Sri Lanka in 2016.

“If we were still playing one-day cricket I would be touch and go, but Test cricket I will be fine. Test cricket is a bit easier (on the quad).”

“I field in the slips, won’t be doing a great deal of running around in the field. And then in these conditions there’s not a lot of hard running,” Smith said.

“They usually have a few sweepers and it’s four or one quite often. So there’s not a heap of hard running,” Smith told AAP.

Starc has not played since injuring his finger in the first T20 international against Sri Lanka more than two weeks ago. Since then he has had stitches removed and bowled at full pace in the nets with tape applied. He was due to bowl for the first time without the strapping on Sunday afternoon.

According to match rules, Starc cannot enter the game with his bowling hand taped up, to prevent the seam of the ball from reopening the wound in training, so it is unlikely that he will play.

One option would have been to keep Starc’s finger taped until Wednesday, given new injuries can be strapped up if they are sustained during a match. But the left-arm pace bowler did not want to take that risk.

“I like my standard preparations. As cautious as that would be, I want to get the work done,” Starc said.

“We have tried to give it as long as we could, because it is in probably the worst spot. It’s where the ball comes off last,” the seamer added.