Starc and Overton out of Boxing day test

Mitchell Starc, the Australian spearhead, has been ruled out of the Boxing Day Test and will be replaced by backup quick Jackson Bird. Similarly, English pace man Craig Overton has also been ruled out of the 4th test.

The explosive left-armer suffered a bruised heel in the third test in Perth and will once again miss the coveted Boxing Day Test. Since making his debut in 2011, Starc has only played one of his 39 Tests at the MCG – Australia’s most revered sports stadium.

Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the Ashes with 19 scalps, has been put in cotton wool ahead of an arduous tour of South Africa starting in March. Australia have already reclaimed the Ashes after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in Perth to ensure the final two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney are dead rubbers.

England suffered another blow on Sunday (December 24) when pacer Craig Overton was ruled out of the fourth Test with a fractured rib. Overton, who made his debut in the day-night Test in Adelaide, looked impressive with both bat and ball but still saw his side slump to a defeat, which was followed by another morale-crushing loss in the third Test in Perth.

The 23-year-old was initially struck on the ribs during his debut while batting and the condition only worsened at the WACA when he attempted to take a catch off his bowling. Scans later revealed a crack in the rib. Tom Curran is likely to replace the lanky pace bowler, who went to Australia being the replacement of injured Steven Finn.

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