Ind vs Aus: Australia is sweating over the fitness of Mitchell Starc as the pacer was seen grabbing his right hamstring after he bowled his first over against India on the fourth day of the ongoing fourth Test at the Gabba, Brisbane on Monday.
In the final session on day four of the fourth Test, with rain playing spoilsport, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill could face just 1.5 overs before the umpires decided to call for early stumps. India need 324 runs on the final day with 10 wickets in the bag at Australia’s fortress — The Gabba.
“I am not sure, to be honest. I saw the same thing walking back, he was grabbing at his right hamstring I think it was, so I’m sure he’ll get assessed by the medical staff. One thing I know about Mitchell Starc is he’s tough and he’s played through some injuries before and got the job done, so he’ll be hopefully good to go tomorrow,” said Steve Smith at the virtual press conference after the close of play on day four.
When asked whether Tim Paine could have declared the Australian innings a bit earlier, Smith said: “It’s hard to know. Obviously, with the rain coming, we’re certainly not weathermen and don’t know it’s coming, so you have to play the game as you see it as well. I think the game’s in a nice place for us. The wicket started to play a few tricks today, a couple of balls shot up. So tomorrow I think it’s just going to be about bowling good areas and letting the natural variation of the day five wicket do its work and hopefully, we can hold on to all the chances.
“The Indian players have batted well. In Sydney, we bowled 130 overs, obviously a different wicket to that, but for us, it is just about being patient, not searching too much, bowling good areas, and just letting it happen. I think the more you go searching for it on these kinds of tracks, then you probably don’t get the rewards,” he added.
Smith also said that spinner Nathan Lyon might come into play on the final day as considerable cracks are developing on the Gabba wicket.
“There’s a nice crack forming outside the right-hander’s off-stump that Lyon will probably be looking to aim at I assume, that’s a nice line. If he hits good areas consistently tomorrow, there’s certainly no reason why he can’t create some chances on a day-five wicket,” said Smith.
On the fourth day, Australia was bundled out for 294, setting a target of 328 in front of India. For the visitors, Mohammad Siraj scalped five wickets in the second innings while Steve Smith top-scored for the hosts.