Mitchell Starc believes he’s “still a good chance” to feature in the second Test against India despite not being as close to full fitness as he would like.
And he’s not the only injury concern for Australia with Cameron Green still in doubt to return from his own finger injury.
But for the second straight match in the Border-Gavaskar Series the pitch itself is under the spotlight with curators at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi trying to ban Australian media from taking photos, like they did in Nagpur.
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The Age reported a man was wrongly accused of taking the pictures of the first Test pitch that went viral as ground staff told Aussie journalists to move all the way to the boundary, then told them they could not take photos there either.
This was somewhat pointless given the stands were open and a photographer for Getty Images took at least one clear snap of the pitch on Wednesday.
“It looks pretty dry. The groundsman said the nets look pretty similar and the two days we trained on were really low and took a lot of turn,” Mitchell Starc said.
“If that’s an indication, then that’s what it’s going to be like.
“Having a look the last couple of days it looks like it’s prepared pretty similar as well.”
India has not lost at the second Test venue in Delhi since 1987.
Meanwhile News Corp reported Green was doing some drills on Wednesday with a tennis ball, 48 hours out from the series’ resumption, and while he is said to be bowling and fielding well it’s his batting against fast bowling that remains a concern.
If Green and his seam bowling are unavailable for the second Test it would seem unlikely Matthew Kuhnemann, flown over to join the Aussie squad this week after Mitch Swepson headed home for the birth of his child, would be named for his debut as the third frontline spinner.
However if Green can play he’s expected to replace Matt Renshaw who struggled mightily as the shock inclusion replacing Travis Head in Nagpur.
Kuhnemann was described as a “live chance to play” by coach Andrew McDonald upon his arrival.
Starc remains hopeful of being named, likely as a straight swap for Scott Boland, having bowled well with the injury during the MCG Test.
The pair and Pat Cummins bowled on the centre wicket on Wednesday.
“I’d like to be a little further down the road,” Starc told reporters.
“Still a good chance so it’ll come down to how it reacts by the end of (Wednesday), how the medical staff see it, how the selectors and Pat (Cummins) and Ronnie (coach Andrew McDonald) feel about it as well.
“I’ll do everything I can to be fully available for selection, then it’s a discussion for the rest of the group involved.”
While his finger is not at full strength Starc is hopeful of bowling “as normal”.
“I don’t think (batting will be an issue) so it’s going to be uncomfortable but I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said.
“I think I’ll still field with a cap on (the finger), that’s what I did in Melbourne (after he initially broke the finger). I don’t field myself in slip anyway.”