Cricket - Starc: Boxing Day rest was right

Australia paceman Mitchell Starc admits the decision to rest him for the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka was right for the team.

PA Sport
Cricket - Starc: Boxing Day rest was right

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Thursday's Test against Sri Lanka will be Michael Hussey's, pictured, final match for Australia

Starc was said to be "shattered" after being told he would not play in the Melbourne Test, which the hosts won by an innings and 201 runs to clinch the series, but said on Sunday that he now supports the decision.

"Any player who misses a Test is going to be disappointed, but like I said it was all about the team and it was the right decision for my well-being and for the team as well," Starc said. "We've known for a while that this rotation policy would come into effect at some stage and it was my turn during the Melbourne Test."

The 22-year-old was not surprised that his replacement for that Test match, debutant Jackson Bird, impressed with the ball.

"It was no real surprise that he's taken wickets at Test level. He's done it at domestic level for two years now," Starc said.

Starc looks set to return for the third Test at the SCG, which gets under way on Thursday, after telling journalists that captain Michael Clarke has indicated he will play. It will be an extra special occasion for Starc because, not only will he be playing at his home ground, but it will also be Michael Hussey's final match for Australia.

Hussey called up each player personally to let them know of his decision to retire and Starc hopes Australia can give 'Mr Cricket' the send-off he deserves.

"He's lived cricket for a long time and he's still in great form with the bat, as we've seen so far this summer," Starc said. "He's going to leave a big hole. It's hard to replace Ricky Ponting - now we've got to replace him and Mike Hussey.

"I got to play in Ricky's Ponting's last Test and I've always grown up watching Ricky Ponting and also Mike Hussey. I was quite nervous bowling in Ricky's last Test so I'm sure it will be the same in this one for Mike."

Starc also paid tribute to former England captain and television commentator Tony Greig, who died of a heart attack on Saturday. "Growing up, he's always been part of the commentary and he's well known for that - not only in Australia but around the world," Starc said. "The cricket community's been hit pretty hard yesterday and it's a sad day."

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