Premier fast bowler, Mitchell Starc's fitness is one of the worries for the Australian team management, as the Tim Paine led side looks to make history by following their great escape in the first Test with a win over Pakistan in the second at Abu Dhabi.
Starc struggled on an unresponsive surface in Dubai, as he took 1-90 in the first innings and bowled just six overs on Day 4, without picking up a scalp.
Starc's fitness has been a concern for a while for Australia and he was coming into this Test series in UAE, having recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the game since the end of the Test tour of South Africa earlier this year. Starc has an action which is mostly about his body strength. He bowls at over 85-90 mph and hence, his shoulders, back and his legs are easily vulnerable to injuries.
He has just recovered from a long lay-off and even contemplated employing a change to his bowling run-up which was designed to alleviate stress on his lower body but Starc abandoned it.
"It's a good question. It's always managing those quicks," head coach Justin Langer was quoted saying after the first game, "Starcy bowled a lot of overs first innings, we certainly understand that and it's always the million dollar question: what do we do with the fast bowlers?"
"Because if we've got our fast bowlers, particularly in Australia or going forward to England next year ... the top three is incredibly important to Australia being successful," he added, "We'll manage it. It's the start of the season and hopefully, we'll manage them well throughout the summer and this tour so far," and signed off.
The second Test starts on Tuesday, October 16.
(Inputs from ICC)