Starc in line for return against West Indies


Mitchell Starc is itching to get back to bowling as Australia take on West Indies in their first game of the tri-series.

The Windies and South Africa got the series underway in Guyana on Friday, Kieron Pollard's run-a-ball 67 and Sunil Narine's 6-27 on his international return enough to see off the Proteas.

While Narine had not played in nearly seven months as he remodelled his action after being banned, Starc is on the comeback trail after a similar stretch of time spent rehabilitating stress fractures in his right ankle.

World Cup-winning left-armer Starc has 90 ODI wickets at just 19.65 and believes the time spent away from the field has allowed him to get even better.

"Having six months off, although it was through injury, was nice to refresh a little bit and go through what I have to do in terms of cricket and strength wise. 

"It was nice to spend three or four months in the gym to get that strength back that I'd lost over 12 to 18 months of cricket. 

"It was nice to get that back, rest the little things that I needed to and make sure the ankle and the foot were 100 per cent right before I started to play cricket again.

"I think I've ticked all those boxes and that hunger has definitely come back a lot stronger that it was at the end of that Ashes series [in England last year]."

Narine's mystery spin helped skittle South Africa for just 188 before the Windies reached their target with 11 balls to spare on a slow pitch in Guyana.

Australia stand-in coach Justin Langer has suggested that both off-spinner Nathan Lyon and leggie Adam Zampa could be in line for selection at the same venue, and they will have been encouraged by Narine's success.

The Trinidadian and Pollard were not expected to play in the series at all, having opted out of domestic action this year, but coach Phil Simmons was delighted with their match-winning impact.

"They are the two guys who took the game away from South Africa, and it showed that they're very important to our cricket," Simmons said. 

"Narine himself, coming back from everything he's been through, to come and perform the way he did today, you have to give him a lot of kudos for his grit and his determination, to come out of where he's been and to come back and perform like this."