Australia confident Mitchell Starc, Mitch Marsh will bowl in fifth Ashes Test at The Oval

Mitchell Starc is expected to be fit to bowl in the fifth Ashes Test against England at The Oval.

Mitchell Starc is expected to be fit to bowl in the fifth Ashes Test against England at The Oval. Photo: AP

Australia expects to have Mitchell Starc and Mitch Marsh at their disposal for the fifth Ashes Test, despite both being placed on light duties for the tourists’ main training session at The Oval.

Starc remains under an injury cloud ahead of the start of the Test on Thursday, after doing damage to the acromioclavicular joint in his left shoulder diving for a ball in Manchester last week.

The 33-year-old suffered further damage when he extended the joint on returning to the field moments later but recovered to bowl the following day.

The left-armer was placed on ice at training at The Oval on Tuesday, and was the only frontline quick not to spend time bowling in the on-field nets.

But captain Pat Cummins confirmed he expected Starc to be fit for Thursday, as Australia aims to capitalise on its 2-1 lead and register a long-awaited series win in England.

“He is the second-most capped Aussie pace bowler and you don’t do that without being extremely tough,” Cummins said.

“Especially the way he bowls, 150 km/h. I reckon his pain threshold is as high as I’ve ever seen.

“And his resilience – not only through injuries but everything he goes through.

“He’s someone who loves playing and you know he’s desperate to be on the team sheet each week, which as a captain I absolutely love.”

Starc has made a recent habit of playing through pain for Australia, having fought through the discomfort of a detached tendon in his bowling finger at the MCG last year.

The quick’s availability shapes as crucial for Australia in London. He has consistently been one of the tourists’ most dangerous bowlers on this tour, taking 15 wickets.

“It’s similar to what he’s done over the last couple of summers,” Cummins said.

“He hasn’t lost any of that pace but his consistency, he really nails that back-of-a-length [delivery] really well across the right-handers.

“He’s added a few more tricks. You’ve seen a lot more wobble balls and his confidence to bowl that to right-handers.

“Even when the ball is swinging back into the pads, he’s got enough nous to throw in the wobble seam every now and then across the right-handers.”

Marsh also didn’t bowl at The Oval on Tuesday, having pulled up sore after the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

But Australia expect him to be fine come Thursday, where he and Cameron Green will fight it out for one spot if spinner Todd Murphy is recalled.

Marsh is the more likely to win the battle given his batting form, despite Green being one of Australia’s better bowlers against England’s Old Trafford onslaught.

Cummins confirmed on Tuesday that Murphy would be strongly considered for The Oval, with the ground traditionally spin friendly.

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