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Clarke backs move to rest Starc
Greg Buckle
15:25 AEST Tue Dec 25 2012

Australia captain Michael Clarke says resting in-form players like Mitchell Starc is a reality of modern sport and it could lengthen Starc's playing career.

The 22-year-old Starc was crushed when told he'd be rested for Wednesday's second Test against Sri Lanka at the MCG, after claiming 5-63 in Sri Lanka's second innings in last week's first Test in Hobart.

While the left-armer has a fine record of 24 wickets in six Tests, the NSW quick is also set to play vital roles in Australia's one-day international and Twenty20 International series this summer against Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Australia have promoted debutant Jackson Bird and recalled Mitchell Johnson for Starc and Ben Hilfenhaus (side strain).

"I'm not really sure if I like that word 'rotation'," said Clarke, who as captain is one of five national selectors.

"It's more player management than rotation.

"It's not something we as Australians are used to. I think it's a reality of our sport now.

"Mitchell Starc has done very well over the past couple of Test matches and has had a really big 12 months. But we're making decisions on Mitchell's career.

"We're making decisions on Mitchell playing a big part in the Australian team over the next 12 months.

"We tour India, we have one-day cricket, we have Twenty20 cricket, we have Ashes home and away, Champions Trophy.

"It's not a decision made on just this one Test match."

Starc is likely to return for the Sydney Test on January 3.

Hilfenhaus has joined several other Aussie quicks on the sidelines including Ryan Harris and youngsters Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins.

"We've got the youngest fast-bowling unit in the world. We're in a completely different situation to a lot of other teams, and we've had a lot of injuries," Clarke said.

"We need to manage players as well as we possibly can.

"As disappointed as Mitchell (Starc) is, in two months, six months, 12 months he might be thanking the high-performance team for saving his career."