PERTH: Australia’s hopes of victory in their bitterly-fought series against India suffered a severe blow Friday when pace spearhead Mitchell Starc had to head home with a stress fracture to his right foot. Team physio David Beakley said Starc felt pain in his right foot during Australia’s 75-run defeat in the second Test in Bangalore which has failed to subside since the match ended on Tuesday. “We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture,” Beakley said in a Cricket Australia statement. Starc, who is also one of the world’s leading all-rounders, would “return home to Australia to start his rehabilitation” and therefore “be unavailable for the remainder” of the four-match series, Beakley added. Selectors would name a replacement “in due course”, the statement said. The 27-year-old Starc is the second Australian to be ruled out of the series between the world’s top two sides after Mitchell Marsh had to return home following a deterioration of a long-running shoulder injury. Starc has been hampered by injuries during his career but he has emerged as a key player for his side in all formats of the game and is ranked in the world’s top 10 in both Test and ODI cricket. He was also named recently in the International Cricket Council’s Test team of the year (ICC).
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