Aussies hopeful Starc will play 2nd Test

Australia are upbeat about Mitchell Starc being fit enough to feature in the second Test against England.

Starc injured his ankle on day one of the Ashes opener but was able to play out the game with the help of pain-killing injections.

The tourists have a four-day break before the second Test starts at Lord’s on Thursday.

Starc, who bowled 40.1 overs in Cardiff, was expected to be replaced by Peter Siddle in Australia’s XI due to the short turnaround.

However, team physio Alex Kountouris suggests Starc’s right ankle has already improved.

“We will monitor him over the next few days but the plan is for him to take part in some light training,” Kountouris said.

“He was in discomfort while bowling but since then has improved significantly.

“We are hopeful he will be available for selection for the second Test.”

Starc was Australia’s most productive bowler in the 169-run loss at Sophia Gardens, taking seven wickets for the match.

Coach Darren Lehmann is confident Australia have the depth to cover the potential absence of Starc.

Siddle will almost certainly replace Starc at Lord’s, should the left-armer be ruled out.

Pat Cummins, who was summoned to Cardiff after the retirement of Ryan Harris, hasn’t played a first-class match in almost two years.

Cummins’ first chance to shine is likely to be Australia’s tour game against Derbyshire, which starts on July 23.

“We’re lucky enough to have a few waiting in the wings. Patrick Cummins has joined us and he’s ready to go,” Lehmann said.

“Peter Siddle has played a lot of Test cricket.

“We’ll have to wait, weigh up and see how Mitchell Starc goes in the next couple of days and make a decision. But we’ve got enough armoury to get 20 wickets.”

Lehmann made it clear Starc would have to be “100 per cent fit” to play the second Test.

“We’ll just have to see how he pulls up,” he said.

“It’s a big series so for us. It’s about making sure he’s right to go.”

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