Mitchell Starc finally gets to play a Boxing Day Test match
Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc said he is raring to go at Pakistan as he is set to feature in his first Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
The 26-year-old made his Test debut in December 2011 and in the last five years, he failed to play in a single Boxing Day Test because he was either injured or rested.
He missed the 2013 and 2015 games due to injury while he was overlooked for 2011 and 2014 for Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris respectively.
In 2012, he was rested controversially by then Australia coach Mickey Arthur, who is in charge of the Pakistan team now. Arthur reasoned the heavy workload as the reason behind resting Starc.
The second innings of the first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane saw Starc bowl 48 overs and when asked on a lighter note that whether he will be rested again for the Boxing Day game, the 26-year-old had a cheeky reply to it.
"It's happened before," Starc said.
"He's in the other camp now I think," he added referring Arthur.
Speaking about the game, Starc said everyone in the Australian camp is fit and raring to go and he further revealed his aspiration to feature in a Boxing Day game in front of a full-packed crowd.
"We were all probably a little bit tired over the last few days, but we've had some time off.
"I think the last ball I bowled in that Test match, which was in my 56th over, was 149 kmph. So there's no issue on my end.
"A Boxing Day Test just gets everyone up and ready to go. And what I've seen from the guys in the last day-and-a-half is we're feeling really good and recovered really well.
"So there'd be no reason for anyone to miss out due to injury or rest, as far as I know. Personally, as a kid growing up watching the Boxing Day Test, it's always been a dream of mine to play in front of a full house on Boxing Day.
"If I get the chance this week, we'll tick that one off and it'll be a fantastic experience to walk out and sing that anthem and play a Boxing Day Test. It'll be pretty special."
Starc also backed his New South Wales team-mate Nic Maddinson to be given another chance after his string of low scores in his first two games.
Citing his own example, Starc justified that it will be wrong to judge a player based on first few initial matches.
"In a way, I've been in a similar position where I've been in and out quite often through the start of my career," Starc said.
"And it was the times where I was backed more and given more of a chance and a longer run that my performances started to pick up and I got that consistency in my game.
"So I definitely think 'Maddo' should get another chance.
"In the end, it's up to the selectors but I think continued cricket, definitely at this level, can only help him, and it'd be a great opportunity for him at Boxing Day after we've had a couple of good wins."
© Cricket World 2016