Langer responds to Starc fears as Australia prepare for third Ashes Test

England will get little respite from the relentless Aussie pace attack with Mitchell Starc set to continue opening the bowling.

The 90mph speedster was a handful in Adelaide where he led the attack in the absence of the isolating Pat Cummins and injured Josh Hazlewood.

But during his innings in the second innings, he appeared to hurt his back swinging hard for fast runs before the declaration.

But fears that the 31-year-old might struggle to get on to the MCG turf have been scotched by Aussie coach Justin Langer who expects to see captain Cummins back in harness with Starc on Boxing Day.

"Mitch Starc was almost man of the match, last game,” said Langer. “He's an unbelievable athlete, he's incredibly fit.

"His resilience to just keep coming up over and over and over again is remarkable and his consistency of length, and the way he controlled the tempo of the last game was a credit to him, particularly with Patty and Josh Hazlewood not playing.

"He became the leader of the group, he did a fantastic job. So I would be very surprised if he doesn't get up for Boxing Day."

Opener Marcus Harris will also be in the team despite his lean returns so far and concerns over his place in the side.

“He'll play in the Test, no worries about that. This is his home ground. He's played a lot at the MCG. He hasn't made the runs he'd like to so far, but he dominates domestic cricket.

"So he knows how to play and he's a fantastic bloke around the squad. He's got a good sense of humour, he brings some good energy to the team and we know he's a very good player.

“We're hoping he plays well and gets into a partnership with Davey Warner in this Boxing Day Test match.

“We like to back our players where we can. He showed glimpses in Test cricket so far, and we're hopeful that he'll keep kicking on and keep getting better. It's a tough, tough gig Test cricket.”

Langer also confirmed that he is keen to continue in his role at the head of the Aussie men’s team across all three formats after the Ashes is done.

The 51-year-old former opener has had his coaching methods criticised in recent months but he seems to have turned a corner with a T20 World Cup win in the bag and dominance in the Ashes.

Asked whether he would like to continue he replied simply: “Yes. “I've never thought differently to be honest.

“I've been consistent with what I've said for the last four years. I love my job, and the boys are playing well. No doubt about it.

“It's a great team to be involved in. So nothing's changed from my point of view.”

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