AUSTRALIA'S one-day form slump has ended any chance selectors could freshen up their Ashes-weary stars for the all-important tour of South Africa.
Mitchell Starc has vowed to play out all five matches of the ODI series against England, while captain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner will also be required for the desperate rescue mission.
With Australia's World Cup defence currently in free-fall, chastening home defeat to England awaits if Smith's side can't fight their way out of jail today at the SCG, 2-0 down in the series.
Australia are set to field their full-strength Ashes attack of Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins today in Sydney, while wicketkeeper Tim Paine is also on track to return after a stomach bug.
Smith has been haunted by a public relations disaster from Sri Lanka in 2016 when he was ordered home to rest midway through a losing tour, and the captain wrote in his recently released book that he'd never again take a rest when the chips are down.
Warner was Australia's ironman last year and hasn't missed any international cricket since last February.
Starc admits Australia's Test stars are feeling the pinch mentally after an exhausting Ashes summer, but has declared he will keep punching in a bid to rid the ODI side of its worrying rut.
"I guess it can take its toll," said Starc. "A lot of energy was put into those Test matches and we're now looking for those ODI guys to come in now and energise the group a little bit.
"I'm all right. There's still three more ODIs to go and I'm planning to be available for all three. So we'll see how we go and just keep managing things and play it by ear and the medical staff and the selectors will be on the same page.
"Obviously Josh and Pat have had a breather through the start of this series.
"(Hopefully they'll) come back tomorrow with fresher legs."
There's still more than 12 months until the World Cup in the UK, but the reality facing Australia is they've gone backwards since they lifted the game's most coveted international trophy at the MCG in 2015.
According to Starc, Australia have struggled with the never-ending rotation of new faces in the team over a streak that's seen them win just one of their past 10 ODIs.
Starc was the leader of that World Cup triumph on home soil and admits he must lift with the new ball and stop England's rampant batting order in its tracks.
"I haven't played too much white ball cricket for a little while with a few injuries," he said.
It's taken me a little bit longer than I would have liked with the new ball. I've been pretty poor if I'm honest with the new ball.
"I've still able to take a few wickets but I've leaked runs.
"That's one thing we've mentioned as a group is our new-ball bowling has been pretty poor of late.
"Me as a senior player, I've got to step up and I've been OK in the past with the new ball so it's getting back to that and fixing things up.
"They come pretty hard at the top of the order. If the two big guys (Hazlewood and Cummins) come back tomorrow it's important for us to start really well with the ball against a pretty aggressive line-up."
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