Jackson Bird top contender to replace Mitchell Starc for the Boxing Day Test

Right-arm pacer Jackson Bird is the number one contender to replace the wounded Starc.

Jackson Bird of Tasmania
Jackson Bird of Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc sustained a foot injury during the third Test against England which the Aussies won by an innings and 41 runs to regain the Ashes series 3–0. During the fourth and the fifth day of Perth Test, the left-arm pacer bowled with a bruised heel and spent the last day with his foot in an ice bucket. Later he was scanned at the Sydney hospital which confirmed his injury.

As per the official media release from Cricket Australia, the doctors have cleared him to play in the fourth Test match at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26th. They stated that he had no major damage to his heel, and will be available for the Boxing Day encounter against their arch-rivals England.


Possible replacement

Even though the 27-year-old is cleared by the doctors, he still remains uncertain if he will be a part of the squad for the next match as CA wouldn’t want to take a risk. If Starc fails to recover on time then he is likely to be replaced with another fast bowler in the 15-man squad.

Jackson Bird is in the side as the reserve bowler who is expected to be named in the playing eleven to replace the injured Starc. He last represented his team in last year’s Boxing Day Test match against Pakistan.

The 27-year-old is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 19 wickets from the first three matches and has been performing exceptionally well for his team. Australia have won the Ashes will look to sweep the series and whitewash England 5 – 0.

With two matches still left in this series, the Australian skipper Steve Smith must take a crucial decision within the next five days and has to make sure that he is ready with their best playing XI because an error in his judgement could affect the team’s winning momentum.