In a major setback to Australia ahead of third Test against India in Ranchi, its premier pacer Mitchell Starc was today ruled out of the remaining two Tests against India with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Starc is the second player to have been ruled out of the series for the visitors after Mitchell Mars and the development could deal a moajoir blow to the team’s fortunes in the remaining two Tests of the four-match series currently levelled at 1-1.
Starc was a key player as had proven handy with both the ball and bat in the opening two Tests. Starc picked five wickets and scored a crucial half century on a rank turner in Pune.
"Mitchell experienced some pain in his right foot during the second Test in Bangalore which unfortunately had not subsided a few days after the Test as we had hoped," said team physiotherapist David Beakley.
"We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture.
"Subsequently, this means Mitchell will be unavailable for the remainder of the Qantas Tour of India and will return home to Australia to start his rehabilitation," Beakley added.
Starc is the second player who was ruled out the Australian side after all-rounder Mitchell Marsh suffered a shoulder injury.
Starc's replacement has not been named yet though Jackson Bird is the reserve fast bowler in the Australian squad.
"The National Selection Panel will confirm a replacement player in due course," said Cricket Australia in a statement.
The four-match series has been fiercely contested so far with India winning the second Test in Bengaluru to draw level at 1-1.
The third Test in Ranchi begins on March 16.