Batsman Steven Smith has dispelled doubts about his fitness ahead of Australia’s first Test against Sri Lanka, but Mitchell Starc still faces a crucial lead-in to overcome a finger injury.
The two stars of Australia’s last tour to Sri Lanka, Smith and Starc, headline a long injury list for the tourists ahead of the opening Test in Galle on Wednesday.
Travis Head is also battling to play after a hamstring strain with Glenn Maxwell waiting in the wings, while Ashton Agar’s side strain has cost him a potential Test recall.
Smith who missed the last three ODIs against Sri Lanka due to his quad injury said “If we were still playing one-day cricket, I would be touch and go, but Test cricket, I will be fine. Test cricket is a bit easier [on the quad].”
Meanwhile, Starc has not played since cutting his finger in the first T20I match more than two weeks ago.
He has since had stitches removed and bowled at full pace in the nets with tape applied.
He had planned to bowl for the first time without the strapping last afternoon, but instead had some minor taping on his left index finger as he ran in for about 20 minutes.
Match officials have dictated that Starc cannot enter the game with his bowling hand taped up, unless he cuts it again during play.
The opening Test of the two-match series begins on Wednesday in Galle.