Mitchell Starc hopeful of strong performance on return

Melbourne: Australian left-armer Mitchell Starc`s bid to stake claim to be one of the premier limited-overs bowlers in the world has been hampered by injuries in the past 12 months but the pacer feels his fitness and body is in a place where it can handle the arduous period of cricket that lies ahead.

Starc, who played the last of his 19 One-Day Internationals in June 2013 before being ruled out of the home summer with a stress fracture in his lower back, was included in the Australian squad for the Zimbabwe tri-series involving South Africa starting Harare Monday.

From his limited opportunities in the 50-over game, the 24-year-old has already collated a superb record with the ball, averaging 19.91 and boasting a strike-rate of 23.6 with the ball.

He has also claimed three four-wicket hauls and three five-wicket hauls - effectively grabbing at least four wickets in one out of three matches.

But while the numbers are impressive, it has been injury that has prevented the New South Welshman from adding to them in recent times.

"It’s been great to be in the gym for two-and-a-bit months working on that strength and that fitness to get us ready for a lot of cricket ahead,” he told, Cricket Australia (CA) website.

"It’s probably been two or three seasons since I’ve had a proper pre-season, so to get that time in the gym, getting that strength back, getting a bit of running in the legs, and to be around the state squad as well as the Australian squad, it’s been fantastic to do that."

“It’s probably something we won’t have the chance to do that again in the next few years with the schedule we’ve got.”

Starc believes that tough lessons learned in the early phase of his career has him well placed to benefit as he moves into his mid-20s.

“It’s about being able to bowl long days, long months, whatever it may be, but to do it for a long time and do it well,” he said.

“As a young bowler it’s all about bowling. As you get older you learn more about your body, you’ve experienced a few injuries, experienced the rehab and what it takes to get back as some of the older guys have,” he added.

“It’s about leaving no stone unturned in your preparation; your pre-season, your strength sessions, everything through the tours as well to make sure you’re doing all you can to make sure your body’s right for the next day or the next tour or the next match.”

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