The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AUS­TRALIA are pin­ning their hopes on wounded strike bowler Mitchell Starc and fa­mil­iar home wick­ets as they look to halt a wretched run as their three-Test series against South Africa start­ing to­mor­row. Starc will wear a knee pad to pro­tect deep cuts on his left leg and his con­di­tion will be closely mon­i­tored by med­i­cal staff af­ter he col­lided with train­ing equip­ment in Septem­ber, need­ing 30 stitches. He has been rushed back into ac­tion af­ter Aus­tralia were routed 3-0 in Sri Lanka in July-Au­gust to lose their top Test rank­ing, and were then ham­mered 5-0 in a one-day series in South Africa to com­plete a mis­er­able few months on the road. While the Proteas are miss­ing their in­flu­en­tial skip­per AB de Vil­liers with an el­bow in­jury, they have won their last two Test series in Aus­tralia, putting the hosts un­der added pres­sure ahead of the series opener in Perth.

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