Mitchell Starc not playing in today’s 5th Test: Australia have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI for the last Test.
During the fifth Test of the ongoing 2019 Ashes series between England and Australia at The Oval, Australia haven’t included left-arm spearhead Mitchell Starc into their Playing XI. Having played a lone Test in the series at Old Trafford, Starc was expected to play the last Test.
Australia have included pacer Peter Siddle in the Playing XI in place of Starc. In the two matches that Siddle had played in the series, he dismissed five batsmen at an average of 36.40, an economy rate of 2.71 and a strike rate of 80.4.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 12, 2019
Why is Mitchell Starc not playing in today’s 5th Test vs England?
It was Australia captain Tim Paine who made the announcement during the toss. While he was vocal about the expected change in the middle-order, he didn’t reveal much about Starc’s absence.
“We are gonna have a bowl first. Little bit of overcast clouds. If it would have been sunny, we would have batted first. There seems to be thick grass on top but it seems it would be dry underneath. Would be an interesting wicket if we can make some inroads. Hopefully, the weather Gods are good.
“We have a couple of changes. Mitch [Mitchell] Marsh comes in for Travis Head. [Peter] Siddle comes in for [Mitchell] Starc. With Travis Head, he is extremely unlucky. Our bowling group has been doing a lot of bowling. Marsh will bowl a few overs. Cummins is a strong man. He gets the job done more often than not,” Paine was quoted as saying.
On the other hand, England captain Joe Root expressed relief at not being the one to decide at the toss. Knowing that England can’t regain the Ashes, Root laid emphasis on playing to draw the series and also because of the World Test Championship.
“Thankfully, I didn’t have to decide [during toss]. We would have looked to bat first. There seems to be a good grass covering but it should be dry underneath. As always it is an important first session. Still a Test, we can’t win the Ashes back but we can’t lose the series. There are Championship points to be had,” Root was quoted as saying.