“After bowling almost 100 overs in the past two Tests, data from Australia''s support staff highlights that Starc is at serious risk of breaking down if he continues playing,” Conn wrote in his column for News.com.au. “That he is just 22 and has only six Tests to his credit reinforces that view, meaning he will play just one of the next two Tests. It will be devastating for Starc missing the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, the biggest day on the cricketing calendar,” he added. “A significant injury now means he would struggle to prove his fitness for the Indian tour from mid February and fall back in the queue for the Ashes mid-year,” he further wrote. Conn added: “This is not the first time Australia will use its often talked about rotation policy but it will be the most contentious after Starc claimed 14 wickets in the past two Tests, including a match-winning 5-63 on the last day in Hobart.”
“Pattinson, who has broken down four times this year, is currently out with a side strain suffered during the second Test against South Africa in Adelaide,” he added. “Last season the sports science data showed that Pattinson was in danger of breaking down in the Sydney Test, and did, but he had made such a big impact in Melbourne it was considered worth the risk. Things have clearly changed. Starc will not be risked,” he further wrote.