Fit again Starc hits the nets

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc is on course for a return to action at the Champions Trophy in England in June having recovered from injury.

The quick returned to bowling in the nets this week and declared that he and Josh Hazlewood will not surrender the new ball without a fight.

James Pattinson and Pat Cummins have shown blistering form in recent weeks in the County Championship and the IPL respectively but Starc and Hazlewood will likely remain the new ball pair at least for the time being.

Australia's pace quartet is frankly frightening and their aren't many teams who have been blessed with such depth in bowling quality.

Starc said of the pace attack in an interview with cricket.com.au: "It's really exciting, not only for the Champions Trophy but also for the rest of the summer if we can stay fit and keep playing cricket.

"The four of us have spent a lot of time around each other and we have a close friendship.

"If there's a stage when we can unleash the four of us in the same game (in the Champions Trophy) and then looking forward to the Ashes, if the same can happen there with four steaming quicks and Nathan Lyon being the spinner, it'd be really exciting."

Hazlewood and Starc have formed a lethal combination in both Test and ODI cricket since the latter's return from a long injury layoff in 2016.

Starc said of the partnership: "Josh and I have had a really great partnership with the new ball over the past 12 months.

"And I'd like to think that if we're both fit, we've earned the right to take that new ball, first and foremost anyway.

"But all four of us are capable of bowling brilliantly with the new ball or the old ball. So it's a great option for Steve Smith as captain, to have four bowlers who can bowl at any stage in a day of Test cricket and then with the white ball as well, either when it's new and swinging or old and reversing."

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