Starc’s sore calf opens door for Richardson


Mitchell Starc is out of the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday and may miss further matches beyond after complaining of calf soreness following Australia’s opening win at the MCG. The South Australian fast bowler Kane Richardson has been called into the squad as cover.
As the most durable of Australia’s young fast bowlers over the past year, Starc has played successfully for the national side across three formats without injury since his Test debut against New Zealand in late 2011. However his spell of six overs in Melbourne, returning the figures of 1 for 25, resulted in the calf complaint.
The injury marks an unfortunate point in the summer for Australia’s fast bowlers, meaning every paceman in the first Test squad of the season has suffered an injury of some kind.
James Pattinson was first to break down with a side injury, Peter Siddle missed the Perth Test due to a hamstring problem, and Josh Hazlewood had foot stress hot spots uncovered while bowling in the WACA ground nets. Ben Hilfenhaus suffered side injury in Hobart, Shane Watson fell prey to a calf strain in Melbourne, and now Starc has suffered similarly.
While the Australian team physio Alex Kountouris described the problem as minor, calf trouble is infamously stubborn, as Watson can attest after suffering a string of the injuries in recent times. “Mitchell Starc had some mild right calf soreness after the match at the MCG last night,” Kountouris said. “Whilst we are not majorly concerned about it, we have withdrawn him from the game on Sunday as a precaution. He will be reassessed over the next few days and is a possibility to play next weekend’s matches against Sri Lanka if his symptoms resolve.”
If Starc’s withdrawal is another blow to Australia’s efforts to reduce the amount of injuries suffered by their fast bowlers, Richardson’s call-up is a reward for some of the more eye-catching performances in domestic limited overs matches this summer, including one haul of 6 for 48 at Adelaide Oval. “Kane has been called in as cover in the squad due to his impressive form in the limited overs formats this season,” the national selector John Inverarity said. “This provides another great opportunity for a young player as we look to build towards Cricket World Cup in 2015.”