Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc is raring to bowl once again after enduring a long injury layoff.
Starc, 24, was ruled out for the entire Australian summer due to a stress fracture in his lower back. This has become a very common injury for many of Australia's young fast bowlers, including James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird.
Being ruled for the entire summer meant that Starc was unable to be a part of the Baggy Greens squad that whitewashed England 5-0 in the last Ashes series.
However, Starc is eager to redeem himself after he was included in Australia's squad for the upcoming ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa. Australia will play their first match against Zimbabwe in Harare on August 25.
Starc also revealed that he has spent a lot time working on his strength and endurance in the gym in order to ensure that he doesn't break down during the hectic and draining international schedule that lies ahead.
Mitchell Starc quotes:
"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," Starc told cricket.com.au.
"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 again in the next few years with the schedule we've got."
Starc has had a lot of success in ODIs thus far. In the 19 ODIs he has played for Australia, Starc has taken 37 wickets, which includes three five-wicket hauls and three four-wicket hauls, at a superb average of 19.91.
However, the left-arm pace bowling prodigy has to make sure that he doesn't overexert himself so that he can build on the strong start he has made to his ODI career.
In fact, Starc could also play a massive role in Australia's upcoming tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they will face Pakistan in October, since fellow seamer Ryan Harris has been ruled out of the series after failing to sufficiently recover from knee surgery.
Starc also believes that he is a lot more prepared for what lies ahead after having learnt a lot of things the hard way early on in his career.
"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.
"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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