“I’m not interested in getting scanned or anything like that,” Starc said. “We’ll worry about that at the end of the week. Just a bit of discomfort there, something going on there in the AC [joint]. Nothing major and I’m still able to bowl and do what I need to do.”
He needed to go off the field on the opening day at The Oval for some extra strapping but returned to produce a stunning delivery to remove Ben Stokes – “it swung a little bit late and managed to hit the stumps,” Starc said – before inducing England’s top-scorer, Harry Brook, to edge to slip.
“I’ve played for over ten years and been through a few niggles and injuries over the time,” he said. “There’s been times when I’ve left the team a man down or other people have. We all push through niggles and whatnot. No difference this week, it’s just a little bit of discomfort and away we go.”
This tour had already been a marked contrast from the 2019 series in which Starc played just once, in the Ashes-retaining victory at Old Trafford, but was surprisingly overlooked for the next Test at The Oval where Australia stumbled and ended up sharing the series 2-2.
On this trip he was left out at Edgbaston, where a fit-again Josh Hazlewood was preferred, before being called up for Lord’s in place of Scott Boland. He claimed six wickets in that Test where Australia took a 2-0 lead then claimed another seven at Headingley, but was not able to help his team across the line. The four-wicket haul on the opening day at The Oval has taken him to 19 for the series, the most for any bowler, one ahead of his 2015 tally.
“It’s not the most comfortable thing,” he added of the shoulder problem. “But I don’t think any bowler [in] international cricket is going to say it’s something that’s comfortable for the body. So just push on. We’ve got a big week ahead of us to try and win this Ashes series and then a few weeks off so there’s no reason not to get up for this week.”