Australia suffered a huge blow to their hopes of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy as their principal strike bowler, pacer Mitchell Starc, was ruled out of the remaining two tests against India with a stress fracture to his right foot.
The spearhead is to return home to start his rehabilitation, Cricket Australia said in a statement on Friday.
“Mitchell experienced some pain in his right foot during the second Test in Bangalore which unfortunately had not subsided a few days after the Test as we had hoped. We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture,” Cricket Australia support team Physiotherapist David Beakley was quoted as saying by India Today.
Starc was all fire and brimstone in the first Test at Pune, where he removed Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli in the same over to trigger an Indian first innings collapse.
In the second Test at Bengaluru, Starc broke a stubborn stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Australia had suffered an earlier blow when all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was ruled out of the series with a shoulder injury.
The four-match series is tied at 1-1 with the third test, in Ranchi, starting on March 16.