Sore Starc a concern for Aussies

Mitchell Starc will be assessed prior to play on day two of the Ashes opener, having been unable to take the second new ball for Australia due to a sore ankle.

Josh Hazlewood is confident his fellow paceman will be fit enough to bowl in Cardiff on Thursday.

The left-armer left the field late on day one with what looked to be a leg cramp.

Starc returned to the field, but didn’t roll the arm over again.

Management confirmed Starc was nursing an ankle niggle and would receive treatment on Wednesday night.

“He’ll be fine tomorrow,” Hazlewood said of Starc.

“He’ll get treatment from the physio, as all us quicks do each night after a day in the field.”

It capped a roller-coaster day for Starc, who came to England bursting with confidence after backing up his World Cup heroics with a strong showing in the West Indies.

Starc dismissed centurion Joe Root, having also created a chance when Root was yet to score.

He also produced arguably the two best balls of the day – inswingers that dismissed Ian Bell and Ben Stokes.

But there was also plenty of loose stuff, with the Barmy Army taunting him as “Mitchell Johnson in disguise”.

They presumably meant the 2009 vintage, not the beast that snared 37 scalps in the 2013-14 Ashes.

Starc was also involved in the most heated moment of the day.

The 25-year-old held a finger to his lips after rattling the stumps of Stokes, shushing the fiery allrounder who had batted with typical aggression.

“I’m not too sure what that was all about, but Starcy got the last laugh this time,” Hazlewood said of the incident.

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