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Starc cleared for Sheffield Shield return

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Adrian Warren

Paceman Mitchell Starc is looking forward to resuming his increasingly influential Test pace partnership with Josh Hazlewood after declaring himself ready to retum from a leg injury.

Starc on Thursday said he was available for selection for NSW for their Sheffield Shield opener against Queensland starting next Tuesday at the Gabba.

It will be Starc's only tune-up before the team for the first Test against South Africa in Perth - starting on November 3 - is named on Friday week.

The left-arm quick hasn't bowled since the end of Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in September, after suffering a deep gash to his leg last month while sliding into a metal plate at the base of some stumps in a fielding drill.

"A metal plate which had nowhere to go bar back through my leg and I was stuck in a hospital bed for five days ," said Starc who required around 30 stitches and also underwent surgery.

He intends turning up the heat next week on a couple of his recent Sri Lanka tour teammates, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja, who will be looking for runs for Queensland in their bids for Test spots.

"I'll be looking to make them jump around and, hopefully, knock Joe over with the new ball," Starc said.

He expected the Australian players to be a little more relaxed at home after the 3-0 Test series loss in Sri Lanka and the 5-0 one-day series defeat in South Africa.

Before his injury, which Starc said had not fully closed up, he was in devastating form in Sri Lanka.

He picked up 24 wickets at an average of 15 in the three Tests, with a phenomenal strike rate of a victim every 26 balls.

Hazlewood, while less prolific in that series, has clearly emerged as Australia's other main strike quick over the past 16 months.

The NSW pair are set to spearhead the Test attack this summer against South Africa and Pakistan.

"Josh and I, we've played a lot of cricket together over the last 10 years and then for Australia in the last few years, so we both probably take that (senior spearhead) role on together," Starc said.

'I think we both enjoy bowling in partnerships together as we did through Sri Lanka.

"I think Joshy was great through that series. He didn't get the rewards that he probably deserved, but played a fantastic role over there.

"Between the both of us, I think we've probably stepped up with a couple of the senior guys moving on."

One of those was fellow left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson, who continued to give him advice on bowling and training.

Starc noted the quality of the South African and Pakistan attacks who would challenge Australia's batsmen in this summer's Tests.

"I think between the firepower with the bat of both (touring) teams and some firepower with the ball, I think we're in for a couple of really exciting Test series," he said.

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