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Pakistan vs Australia: Visitors unlikely to risk Mitchell Starc in the T20I series

With India series coming up, Australia will be managing Starc carefully.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc is unlikely to be part of Australia’s T20 playing XI for the upcoming T20 series against Pakistan. Starc underwent precautionary scans as he was battling tightness in his left hamstring and is reported to have avoided serious damage and was used in a restricted manner in the 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi.

Starc will remain in the UAE during the T20 fixtures and is understood to have not been entirely ruled out in spite of Peter Siddle named as his back-up. However, the sense within the Australian camp is that the rest will buy Starc some time ahead of the limited overs series against South Africa and the high voltage test series against India.

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Over the coming months, the players like Nathan Lyon, Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh are likely to play in all the formats so as to maintain the requirements for limited-over games against the Test matches. Finch was one of the silver linings for Australia which is turning out to be an otherwise torrid tour and could end up playing just the one Sheffield Shield match for his State side before the first test against India at Adelaide.

“You’ve got to pick your best T20 side and your best one-day side. If you ask the players, they love playing for Australia. They love playing for their states but you want to play international cricket,” the head coach Justin Langer was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.

Warm-up clash against UAE

Ahead of the three-match T20I series, Australia will play a warm-up match against UAE on Monday which has been granted international status. It will be Australia’s first game against the hosts in any format which has been ranked 13 in the ICC rankings. The tourists will play three T20 Internationals against Pakistan with the first one starting on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi before two games which will be held in Dubai.

Australia T20I squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ashton Agar, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Mitchell Starc, Billy Stanlake

~Written by Aayushmaan Vishwanathan

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