Pace-bowling leader Mitchell Starc insists he will not ask Cricket Australia for a rest despite his heavy workload.
The 25-year-old is the spearhead of the Australian attack in all three forms of cricket and deserves a break more than most, having been put through the wringer during a draining Ashes series.
His chief allies in the Australian pace battalion, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, both flew home following The Oval Test.
And yet the memories of being rested before still burn the left-arm terror, ensuring he won’t be throwing his hand up for some time off unless he’s told to in no uncertain terms by the coaching and medical staff.
Starc admitted to being ‘absolutely shattered’ in 2012 when he was rotated out of the squad to play Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day Test, having helped bowl Australia to victory in the preceding Test in Hobart.
When asked if he’d had any discussions about being rested at any point during the one-day series against England which starts in Southampton on Thursday, or October’s two-Test tour of Bangladesh, Starc said he intended to play in every game unless advised otherwise.
“It’s not something I like to think about,” said Starc, who – as a result of poorly timed injuries and being rested – has never played a Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
“I’ve been rested for games before and been pretty disappointed there so I prepare to play every game and, at this stage, it’s the game on Thursday.”
Australia’s summer schedule is busy and involves six home Tests against New Zealand and the West Indies before ODI and T20 series against India, and finally a two-Test tour of New Zealand in February.
Following that, Australia will travel to South Africa for some T20 fixtures against the Proteas in preparation for March’s World T20 tournament in India – the one piece of elusive silverware in world cricket which they crave.
“It’s pretty much non-stop until the end of March,” Starc admitted.
“As I have done the last few months, (the key) is to monitor my body and making sure I’m doing everything I need to do in terms of recovery.
“(That means) getting in the gym, doing enough at training, making sure I’m 100 per cent ready to go for every game that I can (and) working with the medical staff to monitor how little things might be.
“First and foremost, it’s about performing in these five games and look forward to Bangladesh after that.”
Starc said the motivation of ensuring Australia left England with something to cheer about, following the handing back of the Ashes and Monday’s one-off T20 loss to England in Cardiff, was also a motivating factor behind him not taking any time off.
“There’s been a lot of cricket but we’ve got five important one-day games to finish off the tour of England,” he said.
“(We want) to finish off on a good note hopefully and take something away from the last three months.”
Vice-captain David Warner noted it wasn’t unusual for teams to rest their key players throughout the year – pointing to South African paceman Dale Steyn’s carefully managed one-day schedule, which allows him to be at his best to lead their Test team.
“The biggest thing for each country is winning Test series,” Warner said.