Australia's Mitchell Starc follows through while bowling to Pakistan at the SCG in January.
Australia's Mitchell Starc follows through while bowling to Pakistan at the SCG in January. Rick Rycroft

Starc says fast-bowling 'big four' will be fit for Ashes

PAT Cummins has held the fort for Australia in Bangladesh, but Mitchell Starc says he will be back to share the fast-bowling load in time for the Ashes.

With Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson all nursing injuries, Cummins is the only one of the "big four" remaining.

But Starc, who is back training with the NSW Blues following a recurrence of a foot injury, says the four of them will be back together and raring to go against England in two months' time.

"We'll be all right," he said.

"It's been a silver lining for me - having the last few months to spend some quality time in the gym, get some running under my belt the last few weeks and not be so rushed. I think the last few times I've been injured I've been rushed back too early. To have a nice, even lead-in to the summer has been good and make sure I haven't got any niggles."

Starc will be available for the Blues for the one-day cup, which starts later this month, and is expected to play in three Sheffield Shield matches before Australia takes on England.

"It's all on track," he said. "Barring any hiccups I'll be taking part in the JLT One-Day Cup, hopefully those first couple of Shield games as well.

"I think it's a great lead-up for all the guys around the Test set-up who are trying and get a spot in the team and those of us coming back from injury. It's a great lead-in to a very important summer.

"To have three Shield games, and for some of us the one-day cup, is great for all the guys around that squad - first-class cricket, hopefully at some Test venues. Hopefully it will be a better lead-in than most of the last summers we've had where there've been one or two Shield games."

While Starc has been impressed with Cummins in tough conditions in Bangladesh, it's been a mixed series for Australia. But Starc says it shouldn't be an indication of what's to come in the Ashes.

"You guys will make what you want of the Bangladesh series, but it's going to be completely different at home, with conditions we know really well - and it's an Ashes series," he said. "I've not played a home Ashes series, so I'm really looking forward to it and I know the rest of the group are.

"The girls have got their Ashes series first, hopefully they knock England over and we can follow them to make it two Ashes wins for Australia in the summer. I know both the men and women are looking forward to a couple of interesting and fierce Ashes series."

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