BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 08: Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates dismissing Rory Burns of England during day one of the First Test Match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at The Gabba on December 08, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

National selector Tony Dodemaide has hinted at the prospect of resting Mitchell Starc for the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.

Speaking to SEN yesterday, Dodemaide said that the selectors were cautious of the amount of cricket Starc has played, with one eye on upcoming home ODIs and T20Is and a three-test tour to Pakistan in March.

“(We’re) very conscious of what his workload has been,” he said.

“He’s an important player for us not just for this match coming up but for the white ball series and the next, really heavy four or five months.”

Captain Pat Cummins and chairman of selectors George Baily have made it evident that they are against rotation policies "for the sake of it". 

But Starc is the only Australia fast bowler to have played all four Tests in the ongoing Ashes, with Pat Cummins (three tests), Scott Boland (two), Jhye Richardson (one), Michael Neser (one) and Josh Hazlewood (one) all used this series.

Starc has taken 15 wickets this Ashes series (second-highest wicket taker) at an average of 26.6, but finished with figures of 0/68 from 18 overs in the second innings at Sydney as England survived for a nervy draw.

Former Australian greats Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh believed Starc's effectiveness dwindled as he tired on Day 5 in Sydney.

“These are the signs of wear and tear,” Gilchrist said on commentary on Fox Cricket.

“He’s had a terrific series Starc, and that’s not a good sign. He’s the one frontline bowler for Australia that’s played all four Test matches, and that might be the first signal Hobart might be a step too far."

Waugh agreed: “I think Starc might be due for a rest.”

Additionally, Starc’s Test bowling average goes from 24.03 in the first match of a series to 52.67 in the fifth, per ABC Grandstand statistician Ric Finlay.

Starc's strike rate also takes a significant hit as the series goes on, sitting at 44.7 in the first match of s series, 44.2 in the second, 53.7 in the third, 67.8 in the fourth and 101 in the fifth. Although, that may be offset by Australia rarely playing five-Test series.

However, with the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart a pink-ball affair, keeping Starc in the side may be irresistible given his record in day-night matches. He is the greatest ever pink-ball bowler by way of statistics, having 52 wickets at 18.2.

His 4-37 in the second Test against England made him the only player to claim 50 wickets in in day-night Tests.

Tony Dodemaide, speaking to the media on Tuesday, kept his cards close to his chest regarding the make-up of Australia's fast bowlers in Hobart should Starc miss out at Bellerive Oval.

“It seemed that everyone pulled up OK. Obviously a couple of bowlers will be sore after a fairly long day on day five (of the Sydney Test)," he said

“We’ve got a little bit of time, so we’ll get a full report tomorrow and the guys also have the training session as well, just to see that everyone can shake off that soreness. Jhye is coming along really well. We know Nes(er) is a real warrior as well. He’d be ready to go.”