Qantas Tour of South Africa
Starc, Marsh fit and firing for Cape Town
Duo train strongly two days out from the third Test as Australia look set to name unchanged XI
Sam Ferris in Cape Town
20 March 2018, 11:55 PM AEST
Australia look set to be at full strength for the third Test in Cape Town after Mitchell Marsh and Mitch Starc got through training on Tuesday unscathed.
Marsh had been nursing a groin strain he picked up the second Test loss in Port Elizabeth while Starc has been suffering from a sore calf.
But both players trained strongly at Newlands two days out from the third Test, with Marsh bowling and batting unencumbered and Starc charging in off his long run.
Starc in particular appeared back to his best, constantly troubling the Australian batsmen and hitting speeds of 145kph as clocked by the speed gun locked on the centre wicket net.
"By all reports he (Starc) is right to go," off-spinner Nathan Lyon said.
"I heard (opening batsman) Cameron Bancroft saying he was bowling quite quick.
"That's exciting to have him up and going.
"I know the bowlers are feeling fresh after a couple of days off.
"It's been a big summer for them but to have a couple of days off in the lead in to two massive Test matches is pretty exciting.
"I got no doubts about Starcy."
With Marsh and Starc fit, it would be hard to see a change in Australia's XI on a pitch that is expected to produce reverse swing bowling.
Lyon described the pitch as "interesting", and said Starc's unique release could be telling if the ball reverses with a lush wicket square surrounding the pitch.
"It's going to depend on how rough we can get the rough side by hitting the wicket," Lyon said.
"You can see Starcy is a massive weapon for us when we want to get the ball reversing, the way he releases the ball he can land it on the rough side and rough it up naturally.
"I dare say it's still going to play a part, but I don't think it will play a part as quick as what it probably has in the past two Test matches.
"In the media it's a green top but talking to (the curator) he's saying he's trying to take the pace out of it.
"It's going to be an interesting one. It looks a pretty good wicket looking at it right now."
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard
Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage