Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of the remaining two Tests between India and Australia after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot. 

And while he may have taken just five wickets in the first two Tests, Starc is a fearsome bowler, almost unplayable when on song. He brings intimidation and speed to their bowling attack, and has a knack of getting stuck in while batting as well. 

Starc is Australia's 3rd-highest run-scorer with 118 runs in the series, and 5th highest overall.  All in all, it's going to be a massive blow for Australia and a relief for India.

Source: b'Mitchell Starc. Reuters'
"Mitchell experienced some pain in his right foot during the second Test in Bangalore which unfortunately had not subsided a few days after the Test as we had hoped. We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture. Subsequently, this means Mitchell will be unavailable for the remainder of the tour of India and will return home to Australia to start his rehabilitation," team physiotherapist David Beakley was quoted as saying in an ESPNCricinfo report.

Meanwhile, India are unchanged apart from all rounder Hardik Pandya's absence. He was released from the Indian squad with selectors retaining other 15 members for the remaining two games.

Pandya will play for Baroda in the quarter-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the domestic One-day tournament.

Pandya was released during the first Test also and he played three league games. With the Ranchi wicket expected to be on the slower side, there is very little possibility of Pandya making the cut in the playing XI.

Opener Murali Vijay, who has suffered a shoulder injury missing the second Test match has been kept in the squad of 15 and is expected to get fit before the start of the third Test in Ranchi from March 16.

First choice opener Vijay is expected to replace Abhinav Mukund, who failed in both the innings.

With inputs from PTI

Feature image source: Reuters