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Caged lion Starc ready to pounce

Mitchell Starc understands the plan for his wellbeing but the fast bowler is champing at the bit to get in the middle

Mitchell Starc has been like a proverbial caged lion on this Qantas Tour of the West Indies and says he can't wait to be unleashed on the world's batsmen once again.

One of the most potent fast-bowlers in world cricket, Starc has been forced to take a conservative approach in this series, his first following a six-month absence due to ankle and foot surgery.

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The left-armer has played two matches so far on tour - taking a combined 5-80 in Australian victories - and has been rested from the other two games, which have both ended in defeat.

The 26-year-old hasn't shied away from his frustration at being held back, but says his fate is always the hands of Australia's coaching and medical staff.

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"It's part of the plan unfortunately," he said ahead of Australia's match against South Africa in Barbados on Monday morning (AEST), which he's expected to play.

"Being fit this time around and watching from the side can be a little bit frustrating. But I've got to look at the bigger picture and there's a lot to come in the next six months so I'll stick by the plan and stick by what the medicos tell me to do.

"I don't have too much say in it. I want to play every game.

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"The bigger picture (is) we have three Tests against Sri Lanka, a one-day series that follows that, a one-day series in South Africa and then we've got the home summer.

"It's feeling really good but I've just got to manage that at this point in time. That's for the medicos to do and me to sit back, unfortunately."

Starc is bowling pain free for the first time in almost 12 months when a fragment of bone broke off his right ankle during the first Ashes Test in Cardiff last July.

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The left-armer was hopeful of managing his ankle pain through the entire 2015-16 summer and the ICC World T20, but the foot injury he suffered in the Adelaide Test last November left him with no other option but to take a break, which he used to also clean up his troublesome ankle.

Starc concedes, like most fast-bowlers, he's grown accustomed to having his playing schedule determined by medical and fitness staff, who are desperate for him to avoid the kind of serious injuries he suffered last year.

Having experienced long absences from the game in the past, including two in 2013 due to ankle and back problems, he understands that finding the balance between playing as much as he'd like and managing his workload can be a difficult science.

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Not that is makes it any less frustrating.

"I'm getting used to being told what to do," he said with a smile.

"It'd be really nice to play every single game, but the sheer amount of cricket we play these days, if you play every game you're going to break down at some point so you have to be a little bit smarter about it.

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"At the moment I'm feeling really good, I'm feeling strong and ready to go at every point. It's about me getting right for the next game and if that involves playing, that's lovely. But if it means I have to rest or sit out here and there, I'll have to cop that on the chin as well.

"It's about finding that happy medium where you're not bowling yourself into the ground and you're injured every 12 months, but at the same time you want to keep that rhythm and be fresh enough to play as much as you can."

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Starc also echoed the sentiments of his fast-bowling partner Josh Hazlewood, who earlier this week spoke of his preference to play as much as possible to maintain the rhythm and continuity in his bowling.

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Having not yet played consecutive matches in the series, Starc admits he's struggled to find his best so far on tour.

"Being in one game and being out the next ... it's very different bowling in the nets compared to out in the middle," he said.

"So I didn't find my rhythm in the first game, it took a bit of time to get it back and then you're sitting on the pine the next week. It can be a little bit frustrating in terms of the rhythm.

"I'm in the same boat as Josh in that I'd love to play every game just to have that rhythm and consistent cricket and I think that's something I did over the past 12 months before I got injured. I was playing consistently and it was showing in my performances."

Starc currently sits on 95 career ODI wickets from 48 matches and needs just five more dismissals in this series to break Saqlain Mushtaq's 19-year-old record of 53 games as the fastest bowler to the 100-wicket milestone.

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