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Starc's workload against NZ uncertain

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5 days ago Rob Forsaith

Darren Lehmann is keen to feed Mitchell Starc's insatiable appetite for wickets but Australia's spearhead is unlikely to be granted his wish of playing every game this summer.

Starc and Josh Hazlewood were rested from a one-day series against South Africa in October, when Australia lost 5-0.

Many past players and pundits criticised the decision, with Proteas captain Faf du Plessis suggesting it helped his side gain a mental edge and win the ensuing Test series.

Selectors and team medical staff again face a tough job deciding how much of a role Starc and Hazlewood should play in the upcoming three-match one-day international series against New Zealand.

Both pacemen were included in a 14-man squad but they're not expected to play all three games, with the priority being the upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan.

"We get in trouble if we don't play (them) .. you're damned if you do, damned if you don't," coach Lehmann quipped.

"The advantage we had in them not going to South Africa is that Hazlewood's fresh as a daisy ... the rest was important for him and Starc."

Starc has achieved plenty in a short space of time since making his international debut in 2010.

The left-armer was named player of the series in Australia's 2015 World Cup success. He also helped record many of the Test victories that led to Australia claiming the No.1 Test ranking earlier this year.

But the express paceman has never played every Test in a home summer - a product of patchy form, injuries and rotation in recent years.

A training mishap in September that left Starc with 30 stitches in his left leg threatened to extend that streak.

But Starc ticked off the first half of the milestone against South Africa and is on track to play all three upcoming Tests against Pakistan.

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