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Starc preparing for next big test

After dominating the Matador Cup, Mitchell Starc will now see how his troublesome ankle reacts to first-class cricket

Having breezed through the Matador Cup unscathed and with a winner's medal around his neck, star fast-bowler Mitchell Starc is preparing for a bigger test of his chronic ankle problem in next week's Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide.

Starc is again the toast of Australian cricket having driven his NSW Blues side to their first domestic one-day title in 10 years, the left-armer picking up three wickets in Sunday's final at North Sydney Oval to smash the record for the most in a single season.

Quick single: Sensational Starc flies into record books

Most pleasingly for Starc and Australia is the way his troublesome ankle held up through six matches in three weeks, in which he took 26 wickets at an incredible average of 8.12.

Watch: Starc snares another four 

Starc and Cricket Australia are hoping to manage the bone spurs in the 25-year-old's right ankle for as long as possible until surgery is eventually required to resolve the problem.

An unsurprising choice as Matador Cup man-of-the-series, Starc is now waiting to see how his injury will react when he returns to first-class cricket in next week's Shield clash at Adelaide Oval.

"It has some good days and some bad days," Starc said after taking 3-39 in the nine-wicket thrashing of South Australia on Sunday.

"There are times when it is sore but as I've said previously, it's just about managing it and doing all I can off the field to make sure I'm right for each game.

"The way it's been throughout the Matador Cup, I'm pretty happy with how it's held up.

"Next week will probably be a good test in four-day cricket with probably a hard Adelaide wicket. But it's pretty good at the moment."

Watch: Searing Starc yorker bowls Finch

Part of the management of Starc's ankle has been the use of cortisone injections, which he needed in order to get through the Qantas Tour of the British Isles earlier this year.

Quick single: Blues breeze to Matador Cup title

While there is a finite number of cortisone injections one can have before the pain relief becomes ineffective, Starc is confident there is still some way to go before that scenario may eventuate.

And facing a schedule that features six home Tests and a limited overs series against India this summer, followed by the tour of New Zealand and the World T20 in India next year, Australia are hoping that it's some time yet before the option of surgery needs to be seriously considered.

"As far as I know they probably stop being a pain relief and there just won't be any point in taking them," Starc said of the cortisone injections.

"As far as I know I've got a few up my sleeve at the moment. I haven't had one since getting back from England.

"It's probably a good sign to get through the Matador Cup without the need for an injection. But it's probably going to be a bit of a test next week in the Shield game."

While a close eye will be kept on Starc's ankle, there will also be interest in whether or not he can translate his irrepressible form with the white ball into the Test arena this summer.

The Blues quick bowled with impressive pace and late swing throughout the Matador Cup, with 17 of his 26 wickets bowled as he was rewarded for maintaining a full length with both the new and old ball.

Watch: Starc's Matador march

Now the task is to replicate that form in the Test series against New Zealand, starting on November 5, and the three Tests against the West Indies that follow.

Starc dismissed talk that he and fellow left-armer Mitchell Johnson aren't compatible in the same Test side after former captain Mark Taylor suggested the two can't be picked alongside each other if they leak runs at the same rate they did at times during the Ashes.

Quick single: Starc, Johnson must curb aggression says Taylor

Starc pointed to the way he and Johnson bowled in Australia's triumphant World Cup campaign as an example of the duo working well together, adding one disappointing series should not discredit the times they've both fired.

"There's times when (being expensive) has happened in the past, but there's times when we've worked really well in tandem," he said.

"I don't think you can put it down to just one series where all of a sudden it rules us out of playing together.

"That consistency is there with the white ball (and) the way it's come out of the hand in the last 12 months especially is pleasing.

"But I still feel there's a way to go with improvement with the white ball and definitely with the red.

"If I can take this consistency over the last three weeks into the summer with the red ball I'll be happy."