The Investec Ashes 2013 July 4, 2013

Pain-free Starc narrows aim on Cook

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Pain-free for the first time in more than six months, Mitchell Starc has promised Australia's bowlers will not give Alastair Cook a moment's peace in the middle, encouraged - but not made complacent - by the England captain's difficulties against left-arm pace.

Starc revealed he relied on painkilling injections in his ankle for most of last summer and the tour of India that followed, before returning home when even the jabs did not mask the discomfort caused by bone spurs. The time away from the bowling crease allowed Starc time to observe Cook and company facing up to New Zealand's battery of left-armers, and said both he and James Faulkner now fancied their chances.

"As a group we have paid a lot of close attention to that New Zealand and England series," Starc said. "For me and James Faulkner, being left armers, it was great to see a few of their guys really struggle against the left-armers. I'm sure they have gone away now and worked at that, but it's encouraging. We'll have to find a lot of different ways if things aren't happening, to get them out. We can't just rest on his struggles against the left-armers.

"It's a point of difference for us and hopefully we can get that ball swinging for as long as we can. It's all about early wickets and being very aggressive against him being the captain of the side. They're going to do the same thing to Michael, so as a bowling group we have to make sure we're very aggressive as well."

The problems faced by Starc across the summer were a point of some consternation when he was kept out of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka for preventative reasons, and the bowler himself registered his displeasure at the time. But the management of the issue allowed Starc to take part in most of the summer and only miss being available for one Test in India, and as shown against Somerset he is now running into form at the right time.

"I've got no pain now, it was very painful in India," Starc said. "It's something I don't have to worry about now, or worry about having a jab or being careful bowling this many balls, it's all gone. It got pretty bad in that last Test in Mohali and injections weren't working. It was more the one we didn't know about, it wasn't the one we picked up around Christmas time, it was the one that broke off and we didn't know about and I went back for surgery."

Starc's first international since Mohali was Australia's ruinous defeat by England in the Champions Trophy. Tentative by his own admission, Starc said he had progressed a long way since his first ball of the match to Cook drifted harmlessly onto the pads. "I was still working on my rhythm and getting through that tentative spot as you do after an injury. I feel in a great place at the moment," he said. "The last three weeks have been as good as I have felt in a long time. I'm happy with where my body is and where my bowling is."

A packed first day crowd at Taunton were witness to Starc's destructive power when he finds the right gear. After Somerset had careered to 304 for 2, Starc and James Pattinson capitalised on Faulkner's breakthrough to scoop an outrageous 6 for 0 with the second new ball, as part of a slide to 320 all out. Though heartened by the burst, Starc noted that next time he did not wish to wait until the 81st over at Trent Bridge to start wreaking similar havoc.

"We knew we needed to finish the day well," he said. "It was a tough toil through the middle period on a very flat wicket. Going into that last spell with the new ball we spoke to each other before we started and said we wanted to try and get three wickets in that last spell before close. To bowl them out we were happy with that and got to put our feet up for a couple of days. That second new ball is what we need to produce with the first new ball."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TenDonebyaShooter on July 6, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    This reminds me of a passage in the late Peter Roebuck's book on the 1986-7 Ashes series where he suggests that Australian selectors appear to have a bit of a fixation about English batters' weakness against left arm pace. In that series, Australia picked a left-arm quick called Chris Matthews, and it was not a success. Johnson's trials against England will be more fresh in the memory. It is true that there have been Australian left-armers who've been more successful in the Ashes (eg, Bruce Reid and Alan Davidson), but this suggest it is good bowling which will reap rewards, not necessarily left-arm bowling. It reminds one of the obsession that England have sometimes had regarding Austalian batters' supposed unfamiliarity with off-spin, which led them mistakenly to pick Miller and Hemmings rather than Edmonds for the 1982-3 series. @EMP take your point about some inflammatory postings from England fans, but note that Harmison, unlike Johnson, won 2 of the 4 Ashes series he played in

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    @ScottStevo I was exaggerating for effect (nobody's as bad as Dernbach) but while he's a wicket-taker, Kleinveldt has a nasty habit of letting the pressure off. That's a big strength of that Saffer unit, Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Kallis, they keep coming at you and there's no easy runs. Missing Duminy at Brisbane also hurt their options (the all-pace attack thing was built around Duminy filling in as the spinner).

    They were also well on top at Brisbane before the rain came (255-2, both Kallis and Amla set). Amla went 14 runs later, 10 wickets fell on that third day (more than on any other day). Who knows who the rain hurt more? Missing Duminy weakened the batting (don't laugh, his record might be somewhat middling but he's got a big 166 against you lot before). Like I said, Australia played much better cricket against the Saffers than we did, but I don't think you were unlucky to lose.

    What it did show, however, is that you have quality, and England underestimate you at their peril.

  • Harmony111 on July 6, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I can't understand why some Oz fans keep spreading the lie that Aus were unfortunate to lose the last Aus-SA Test Series? It was SA who were unlucky. IIRC they were a man short in Test 1 and Test 2. Moreover, an imp day's play was lost in the 1st test where SA lost the entire momentum they have built till then. Even then, SA managed to draw both those. In the 3rd test at Perth, when SA had all 11 men available, they hit top gear and not only destroyed Aus batting in the 2nd innings but completely tore apart their bowling in the 3rd innings. It showed that once they had 11 men, they gradually got better as that test went on.

    The only saving grace for Aus in that series was that they did not lose by a bigger margin. Many factors went in their favour for that and so Aus must consider themselves LUCKY for a smaller loss than calling themselves unlucky.

  • ScottStevo on July 5, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    @HZO, totally agree, those series count for nothing come Ashes time. Don't be too quick to label a bowler rubbish, he was v similar to Bresnan - and he picks up wickets. We were also without Pattinson in the second innings at Adelaide, so that makes up for Kallis being injured - though it didnt effect his batting too much, mainly because he's class. Youre right, you can pick and choose numbers however you like. As the great H Simpson once said, you can use statistics to prove anything - 14% of people know that!

  • H_Z_O on July 5, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    That said, Greatest_Game's right, so I'll just quote him again:

    "As far as the Ashes go, all that means nothing."

    We start fresh. The India series results don't matter, the South Africa results don't matter, what will matter will be the 25 days of hard cricket coming up. Seems a bit daft to argue about past series when it won't matter one jot to the outcome of the Ashes.

  • H_Z_O on July 5, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @ScottStevo While I agree that you played better against the Saffers than we did, you also got to face Rory Kleinveldt, a man who makes Jade Dernbach look like Glenn McGrath. Yet you still made him look good at Adelaide (3-65. Hilfenhaus got 3-49 in the first innings, Siddle 4-65 in the second). Kallis was injured at Adelaide too and came in down the order, nowhere near fit (and still got runs). He only got the 196 runs off your first choice attack (no excuses there) at Brisbane, so his form was clearly, as Hatsforbats put it, "rubbish". Not to mention the loss of his bowling (2 wickets off his 3.3 overs at Adelaide). You also had Mike Hussey (259 runs at 59) who isn't playing in this series. When we left Swann out at Headingley, KP got 4-78. Lyon's best figures against SA? 5-140.

    Now do you see that numbers don't tell the whole story? We played South Africa in different circumstances, and different conditions. And your loss wasn't undeserved, Test series are a marathon, not a sprint.

  • ScottStevo on July 5, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, Think you'll find it's you a little hazy with your history. England eeked their way to 51 runs short, but were always going to get beaten and at no stage in their series looked anywhere near winning a session let alone an entire test as they were outplayed and outclassed by a side they couldn't compete with. On the other hand, Aus had SA effectively 50-5 in their second innings ( a day of rain spoiling a result - where only one side was in serious contention of winning) and another where SA batted for 9 hours to salvage a draw from what was a hopeless position. If they'd been "in form", batting for 9 hours they'd have chased down just about any total - right? Agree, however, in the last test we batted poorly and gifted them a totally undeserved series victory.

  • Greatest_Game on July 5, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    @ HatsforBats. Unfortunately, you fail to understand history.

    You claim that in Perth Aus had a 4/5th choice attack. Why DID Aus not bowl Siddle, Hilf & Pattinson? BOWLING INJURIES! In Adelaide, Pattinson was injured inns 1, but Siddle & Hilf bowled 9 hours at "rubbish form SA," taking just 8 wickets. It broke them. IF Aus lost Perth due to a " 4th/5th choice bowling attack," then INJURIES PREVENTED THEM FROM REGAINING #1.

    OR … Johnson/Starc are NOT 4/5th choice: they had Aus' SERIES BEST bowling Ave & SR vs SA; vs SL, Johnson had the 3rd best Ave & best SR; they were 3rd & 4th best in India; Starc is in the Ashes. Not 4th/5th choice attack stats, are they?

    In Perth, Aus BATSMEN failed. Aus totaled 495 runs. The bowlers scored 141, or 28.48%. Starc had the co-highest inns score.

    The Perth loss truth: injuries made Aus field at worst a 2nd choice attack, but Aus' BATSMEN failed, scoring LESS than "rubbish SA" did in the other 2 tests when batting against Aus' 1st choice attack!

  • on July 5, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    England and South Africa do all the important things right. I feel that the Aussie side under Border laid the foundation for domination later for several reasons. And while McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist et all made it happen, Border's side focused on getting the basics right - holding catches, converting tough singles from the batting side into run outs, and not giving away their own wickets to run outs. We have some wonderful fielders in the Aussie squad but very rarely do you see the side make run outs and dropped catches are regular. I'd be really pleased to see Aus knuckle down on these again - even if they don't win they'll compete much harder this way.

  • HatsforBats on July 5, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, did you miss the point I was trying to make? I think you might have. Bowling injuries have not prevented Australia from being one of the top sides. Like I wrote before, the injuries get more media and opposition attention than is warranted, particularly as England have their own steady stream. Re: the Perth test it would've been laughable had SA not been able to dominate the 4th or 5th choice bowling attack, but given their rubbish form in the first two games it might not have been suprising.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on July 6, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    This reminds me of a passage in the late Peter Roebuck's book on the 1986-7 Ashes series where he suggests that Australian selectors appear to have a bit of a fixation about English batters' weakness against left arm pace. In that series, Australia picked a left-arm quick called Chris Matthews, and it was not a success. Johnson's trials against England will be more fresh in the memory. It is true that there have been Australian left-armers who've been more successful in the Ashes (eg, Bruce Reid and Alan Davidson), but this suggest it is good bowling which will reap rewards, not necessarily left-arm bowling. It reminds one of the obsession that England have sometimes had regarding Austalian batters' supposed unfamiliarity with off-spin, which led them mistakenly to pick Miller and Hemmings rather than Edmonds for the 1982-3 series. @EMP take your point about some inflammatory postings from England fans, but note that Harmison, unlike Johnson, won 2 of the 4 Ashes series he played in

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    @ScottStevo I was exaggerating for effect (nobody's as bad as Dernbach) but while he's a wicket-taker, Kleinveldt has a nasty habit of letting the pressure off. That's a big strength of that Saffer unit, Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Kallis, they keep coming at you and there's no easy runs. Missing Duminy at Brisbane also hurt their options (the all-pace attack thing was built around Duminy filling in as the spinner).

    They were also well on top at Brisbane before the rain came (255-2, both Kallis and Amla set). Amla went 14 runs later, 10 wickets fell on that third day (more than on any other day). Who knows who the rain hurt more? Missing Duminy weakened the batting (don't laugh, his record might be somewhat middling but he's got a big 166 against you lot before). Like I said, Australia played much better cricket against the Saffers than we did, but I don't think you were unlucky to lose.

    What it did show, however, is that you have quality, and England underestimate you at their peril.

  • Harmony111 on July 6, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I can't understand why some Oz fans keep spreading the lie that Aus were unfortunate to lose the last Aus-SA Test Series? It was SA who were unlucky. IIRC they were a man short in Test 1 and Test 2. Moreover, an imp day's play was lost in the 1st test where SA lost the entire momentum they have built till then. Even then, SA managed to draw both those. In the 3rd test at Perth, when SA had all 11 men available, they hit top gear and not only destroyed Aus batting in the 2nd innings but completely tore apart their bowling in the 3rd innings. It showed that once they had 11 men, they gradually got better as that test went on.

    The only saving grace for Aus in that series was that they did not lose by a bigger margin. Many factors went in their favour for that and so Aus must consider themselves LUCKY for a smaller loss than calling themselves unlucky.

  • ScottStevo on July 5, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    @HZO, totally agree, those series count for nothing come Ashes time. Don't be too quick to label a bowler rubbish, he was v similar to Bresnan - and he picks up wickets. We were also without Pattinson in the second innings at Adelaide, so that makes up for Kallis being injured - though it didnt effect his batting too much, mainly because he's class. Youre right, you can pick and choose numbers however you like. As the great H Simpson once said, you can use statistics to prove anything - 14% of people know that!

  • H_Z_O on July 5, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    That said, Greatest_Game's right, so I'll just quote him again:

    "As far as the Ashes go, all that means nothing."

    We start fresh. The India series results don't matter, the South Africa results don't matter, what will matter will be the 25 days of hard cricket coming up. Seems a bit daft to argue about past series when it won't matter one jot to the outcome of the Ashes.

  • H_Z_O on July 5, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @ScottStevo While I agree that you played better against the Saffers than we did, you also got to face Rory Kleinveldt, a man who makes Jade Dernbach look like Glenn McGrath. Yet you still made him look good at Adelaide (3-65. Hilfenhaus got 3-49 in the first innings, Siddle 4-65 in the second). Kallis was injured at Adelaide too and came in down the order, nowhere near fit (and still got runs). He only got the 196 runs off your first choice attack (no excuses there) at Brisbane, so his form was clearly, as Hatsforbats put it, "rubbish". Not to mention the loss of his bowling (2 wickets off his 3.3 overs at Adelaide). You also had Mike Hussey (259 runs at 59) who isn't playing in this series. When we left Swann out at Headingley, KP got 4-78. Lyon's best figures against SA? 5-140.

    Now do you see that numbers don't tell the whole story? We played South Africa in different circumstances, and different conditions. And your loss wasn't undeserved, Test series are a marathon, not a sprint.

  • ScottStevo on July 5, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, Think you'll find it's you a little hazy with your history. England eeked their way to 51 runs short, but were always going to get beaten and at no stage in their series looked anywhere near winning a session let alone an entire test as they were outplayed and outclassed by a side they couldn't compete with. On the other hand, Aus had SA effectively 50-5 in their second innings ( a day of rain spoiling a result - where only one side was in serious contention of winning) and another where SA batted for 9 hours to salvage a draw from what was a hopeless position. If they'd been "in form", batting for 9 hours they'd have chased down just about any total - right? Agree, however, in the last test we batted poorly and gifted them a totally undeserved series victory.

  • Greatest_Game on July 5, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    @ HatsforBats. Unfortunately, you fail to understand history.

    You claim that in Perth Aus had a 4/5th choice attack. Why DID Aus not bowl Siddle, Hilf & Pattinson? BOWLING INJURIES! In Adelaide, Pattinson was injured inns 1, but Siddle & Hilf bowled 9 hours at "rubbish form SA," taking just 8 wickets. It broke them. IF Aus lost Perth due to a " 4th/5th choice bowling attack," then INJURIES PREVENTED THEM FROM REGAINING #1.

    OR … Johnson/Starc are NOT 4/5th choice: they had Aus' SERIES BEST bowling Ave & SR vs SA; vs SL, Johnson had the 3rd best Ave & best SR; they were 3rd & 4th best in India; Starc is in the Ashes. Not 4th/5th choice attack stats, are they?

    In Perth, Aus BATSMEN failed. Aus totaled 495 runs. The bowlers scored 141, or 28.48%. Starc had the co-highest inns score.

    The Perth loss truth: injuries made Aus field at worst a 2nd choice attack, but Aus' BATSMEN failed, scoring LESS than "rubbish SA" did in the other 2 tests when batting against Aus' 1st choice attack!

  • on July 5, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    England and South Africa do all the important things right. I feel that the Aussie side under Border laid the foundation for domination later for several reasons. And while McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist et all made it happen, Border's side focused on getting the basics right - holding catches, converting tough singles from the batting side into run outs, and not giving away their own wickets to run outs. We have some wonderful fielders in the Aussie squad but very rarely do you see the side make run outs and dropped catches are regular. I'd be really pleased to see Aus knuckle down on these again - even if they don't win they'll compete much harder this way.

  • HatsforBats on July 5, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, did you miss the point I was trying to make? I think you might have. Bowling injuries have not prevented Australia from being one of the top sides. Like I wrote before, the injuries get more media and opposition attention than is warranted, particularly as England have their own steady stream. Re: the Perth test it would've been laughable had SA not been able to dominate the 4th or 5th choice bowling attack, but given their rubbish form in the first two games it might not have been suprising.

  • E.M.P. on July 5, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Don't worry buddy, we understand that you had to put up with 18 years of Australia dominating England before 2005 (lets just forget the 2006/7 ashes shall we?) and that you need to blow off a little steam. But maybe turn down the vitriol a tad? I really love that the English laugh about the selection of Mitchell Johnson so much when they persisted with Steve (second slip) Harmison for YEARS.

    Now calm down and stop trying to shit-stir, it doesn't suit the English mentality. They're more inclined to attempt to stir up their opponents by writing strongly patriotic verse instead.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 5, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @ gsingh7: I'd check out some test cricket once in a while if I were you. Especially how Cook has fared against India both in England and in India...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 5, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Would this be the 'Mr 766' Cook who put (you guessed it) a massive 766 runs against Australia in Australia? Oops, shouldn't have mentioned that!! Starc has been a mediocre bowler for a long time, often wildly inaccurate. He is only mildly better than Johnson, who the famous Barmy Army invented that memorable, world-famous song about Mitch last time and who no doubt have another classic in store for Mitch Starc this year. Some Australian and Indian fans here are really clutching at invisible straws, but a quick check of some DVDs, and the long memories of many fans who have kept up with cricket in the last 5+ years, should be really a starting point for all cricket lovers. England have been thrashing Australia just for fun for the last 5+ years of their Ashes dominance. It'll be another barrel of laughs after the Ashes again for England fans as all opposition posturing produces the same result we've witnessed time and again.

  • RednWhiteArmy on July 5, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Yes villageblacksmith, Swann will be looking forward to having footmarks to left handers & right handers.

  • skilebow on July 5, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter - I think every Pom agrees with you. It'll be a close one without England's 2009 and 2010/11 Ashes hero Mitchell johnson. Personally I think it'll be a close series and I'm looking forward to it

  • oracle199 on July 5, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Midge can be devastating but gets it too wrong too often. Boof will be a good judge of how well he's going and he may well get a run if his form demands. But for now, Starc the left-armer of choice for mine. The Poms are deserving favourites but they ought to be getting a bit nervy....the Aussies seem to be in a good headspace of late and, 3 weeks ago, the last thing the Poms would have expected was to be running into was a confident, cohesive Aussie outfit - let's hope it's not all bluster. Time will tell but if the challengers start well....look out!

  • on July 4, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    @Tigg Starc is most certainly not spray and pray like Johnson. If your batsmen underestimate him as much as you do, then you will not win the ashes.

    @Gagg Stats are not everything. Bird, Harris and Pattinson all average far less than Anderson in tests. Are they much better bowlers than him?

  • Greatest_Game on July 4, 2013, 22:10 GMT

    @ HatsforBats. At the same time that, as you wrote, "Australia were one test match win from regaining the #1 rank," England were in precisely the same position. It was not quite exclusive territory! Numerous teams have been in that position over the years. Few have got there. Currently, Eng are still #2, & Aus are #4, a series or more away.

    Any boxer is always one win away from the title. Every gambler is just one number away from winning at roulette, or one coin away from winning a slots jackpot.

    It's not getting close that counts, its getting the win. Aus needed to win the series, & were only ever "one win away" going into the 3rd test. They were absolutely hammered.

    In reality, Aus were 309 runs short of regaining #1. Eng were 51 runs short of retaining #1. SA are #1. As far as the Ashes go, all that means nothing.

  • darrenh on July 4, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    So Stark is saying is if Aus bowl like NZ Cook will average just 54.25 as opposed to 127.66. Good plan! I remember 2010/2011 ashes the other Mitch announced he had special plans for the England captain and KP ...I guess that explains the line and the length he bowled.

  • brusselslion on July 4, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    @jonesy2: Where about in the pantheon of greats does Starc feature? I'd imagine before Hilf (world's top 5 bowler) but probably, after Lyon (world's 2nd best spinner)?

  • gsingh7 on July 4, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    now will be real test of temperament of cook after kp praised him to no end. lets see what he can do against pace of pattinson and swing of bird and starc. if he fails in home series then we can bury his comparisons with sachin, the master blaster for once and all.

  • Tigg on July 4, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter All of England is also upset that Mitchell Johnson isn't in the side. Two spray and pray left armers sounds delicious.

  • RandyOZ on July 4, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Starc has to be in the team I think. Siddle and Harris just havent performed well enough

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 4, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    It is a pity that Mitchell Johnson isn't in the squad as then we'd have 2 in form left arm fast bowlers to choose from.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 4, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    swann will be v interested in the rough created by these left armers... hope to see them all playing

  • heathrf1974 on July 4, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    I think the bowlers should be Pattinson, Harris and Bird. Starc is too inconsistent at the moment but should improve in a couple of years.

  • StevieS on July 4, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    jonesy2: Trent Boult average 29.12 in 15 tests, FC average 27, Mitchell Starc 9average 34.03 in 9 test, FC average 31 . Yes I am saying the New Zealand left armer is a better bowler than Starc.

  • TheBigBoodha on July 4, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Most of this was about Starc's recovery from surgery. But you'd never know it from the comments.

  • HatsforBats on July 4, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    @ Andrew Simon Carr, Starc doesn't have the technical issues that Johnson has (he actually has a nice rhythmic, repeatable action...though he collapses a bit in his delivery stride). I can't really see how Australia's bowlers are any more brittle than England's. The injury record of Broad, Tremlett, Bresnan, & Swann is hardly blemish free. You could even throw in Gough, Caddick, Flintoff & Jones and propose all kinds of theories. Fast bowlers get injured, young ones are even more susceptible. Considering Australia were one test match win from regaining the #1 rank and have lost only 2 series in 2 years, it's a non-issue. Our batting is definitely still a worry; Eng 2-1 seems about right.

  • Blokker on July 4, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    Starc is probably Australia's fourth seamer after Pattinson, Bird and Harris, and then there's Siddle. Still, his average of 34 isn't so bad when compared with Jimmy Anderson's pedestrian 30-odd. Starc may not even get a game.

  • 64blip on July 4, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    The phoney war continues. @jonesy2 A look at the averages of Cook, Trott and KP suggest there's no easy way to get them out. I wonder how their averages versus Australia compare to their career averages? I think I know, but why don't you look the details up?

  • on July 4, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    I dont know too much about Darren Lehmann beyond his playing career but i hope he isnt a gambling man. The Ashes mean to much to play Starc on the off chance he will have one of his 1 in 20 blinders. That being said; I would love to see Starc play in a 4 man Pace attack were the conditions to warrant it and not relied upon as part of a 3 man attack. There is more than enough potency + relentless accuracy with the lineup of Pattinson, Bird, Harris and Lyon but the way Starc is talking to the media; he seems very Confident of Playing. If Starc has one off his off days he could get slaughtered by the likes of KP. DONT DO IT BOOF!!

  • 214ty on July 4, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Its all line and length. Cook leaves the ball so close to the wicket; must make him play. Australia is famous for bowling short and wide. If you contain them and bowl straight like New Zealand did in the first test, then they have a good shot at the series. But Australia batsmen which are so vulnerable have to play their part. In any case England have much better bowlers and they will win the series.

  • on July 4, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    @Nick Yates, so a little like Stuart Broad then?

    @Dunger.Bob, I think he just has to try hitting the top of off six balls an over all day long, its not really rocket science, the problem is that he tries to do too much (he practically says as much in this interview), rather than simply using his natural bounce and pace and putting it in the right areas.

  • on July 4, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    As an England supporter there is potential that Mitchell Starc will turn out like Mitchell Johnson.., if so I'd be delighted to see him play in every test. If Australia's seamers can stay injury-free (which given their reported brittleness I doubt) then they are capable of winning the series for Australia, provided their batsmen can put a score on the board. I am still expectant that England will win the series, but I suspect it will be close as it was on 2005 and 2009, rather than a more substantial winning margin as had been suggested/forecast.

  • on July 4, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Stark averages just over 3 wickets per test match. I can't imagine Cook will be too concerned.

  • jonesy2 on July 4, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    cook also has a weakness with right arm quicks aswell. im not into all the this guy has a weakness and that guy has this weakness, if you bowl well to the likes of cook and trot and Peterson and don't feed their onside then you will get them out imminently, fact. but the fact that cook and England in general struggled against NZ's medium pace although quicker than the speed gun says left armers on very flat wickets in NZ then by rights starc should be able to bowl Australia to several victories.

  • djdrastic on July 4, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Cook really struggled against Johnson in the previous ashes series.

  • Moppa on July 4, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Wasn't Doherty going to exploit KP's weakness against left-arm orthodox in 2010-11 Ashes? Games are won on the pitch - this sort of talk is meaningless and probably counterproductive for Australia.

  • hhillbumper on July 4, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    how good are this team? In their interviews you would think they have never lost a match to England.When was the last time you beat us at home 2001. Wow. Guess the worst the team has performed the more gobby they get.

  • calcu on July 4, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    So the mind games have begun. Waiting eagerly for the ashes :)

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Ahhhh the mind games have started already. The irony is that Starc might not even play in the Ashes. This brings back lovely memories of 'Switch-Hit-And-Out-Warner' mouthing off about switch-hitting Swann. He never lasted more than 2 overs, so ended up never facing Swann!

  • dunger.bob on July 4, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    There's a lot about this interview I like. First and foremost they have obviously been thinking about Cook. I've said all along you've got to cut the head off the snake. . stopping the opening partnership at the same time is an absolute bonus. Secondly, bone spurs are real mongrels and everything about your life, let alone your bowling, is way easier once you're rid of them. .. next he knows he's useless in his opening spell. . as it stands, you barely dare to bowl him b4 the ball is 60 overs old. .. Actually, I've got no idea if it's the ball or something to do with him, but whatever, he has to sort that out. .. If Mitch can start to bowl consistently well all day, then we have a match winner. .. I've no doubt at all about that. At his age and with his level headed attitude, this bloke could be a major force for the next decade. .. Will need some luck with the injuries etc to do that though.

  • TsoroM on July 4, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Smart of Starc to throw a litle jab at Cook. Cook is a really good player, but comments like this from a talented, quicker and swinging left-armer will definitely sow small seeds of doubt when the Australian left armers are running in at him. I'm South African but I always look forward to the Áshes. What a contest this year's Ashes promises to be.

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  • TsoroM on July 4, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Smart of Starc to throw a litle jab at Cook. Cook is a really good player, but comments like this from a talented, quicker and swinging left-armer will definitely sow small seeds of doubt when the Australian left armers are running in at him. I'm South African but I always look forward to the Áshes. What a contest this year's Ashes promises to be.

  • dunger.bob on July 4, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    There's a lot about this interview I like. First and foremost they have obviously been thinking about Cook. I've said all along you've got to cut the head off the snake. . stopping the opening partnership at the same time is an absolute bonus. Secondly, bone spurs are real mongrels and everything about your life, let alone your bowling, is way easier once you're rid of them. .. next he knows he's useless in his opening spell. . as it stands, you barely dare to bowl him b4 the ball is 60 overs old. .. Actually, I've got no idea if it's the ball or something to do with him, but whatever, he has to sort that out. .. If Mitch can start to bowl consistently well all day, then we have a match winner. .. I've no doubt at all about that. At his age and with his level headed attitude, this bloke could be a major force for the next decade. .. Will need some luck with the injuries etc to do that though.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Ahhhh the mind games have started already. The irony is that Starc might not even play in the Ashes. This brings back lovely memories of 'Switch-Hit-And-Out-Warner' mouthing off about switch-hitting Swann. He never lasted more than 2 overs, so ended up never facing Swann!

  • calcu on July 4, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    So the mind games have begun. Waiting eagerly for the ashes :)

  • hhillbumper on July 4, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    how good are this team? In their interviews you would think they have never lost a match to England.When was the last time you beat us at home 2001. Wow. Guess the worst the team has performed the more gobby they get.

  • Moppa on July 4, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Wasn't Doherty going to exploit KP's weakness against left-arm orthodox in 2010-11 Ashes? Games are won on the pitch - this sort of talk is meaningless and probably counterproductive for Australia.

  • djdrastic on July 4, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Cook really struggled against Johnson in the previous ashes series.

  • jonesy2 on July 4, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    cook also has a weakness with right arm quicks aswell. im not into all the this guy has a weakness and that guy has this weakness, if you bowl well to the likes of cook and trot and Peterson and don't feed their onside then you will get them out imminently, fact. but the fact that cook and England in general struggled against NZ's medium pace although quicker than the speed gun says left armers on very flat wickets in NZ then by rights starc should be able to bowl Australia to several victories.

  • on July 4, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Stark averages just over 3 wickets per test match. I can't imagine Cook will be too concerned.

  • on July 4, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    As an England supporter there is potential that Mitchell Starc will turn out like Mitchell Johnson.., if so I'd be delighted to see him play in every test. If Australia's seamers can stay injury-free (which given their reported brittleness I doubt) then they are capable of winning the series for Australia, provided their batsmen can put a score on the board. I am still expectant that England will win the series, but I suspect it will be close as it was on 2005 and 2009, rather than a more substantial winning margin as had been suggested/forecast.