Starc ready to bring the heat

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Published: Sunday 5th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Mitchell Starc has warned England’s batsmen there will be no place to hide when Australia’s pacemen turn up the heat for the start of the Ashes series in Cardiff.

The 25-year-old left-armer claimed nine wickets in the final warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford, improving after a slow start on his first outing in England this tour.

With Ryan Harris having announced his retirement because of injury, Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood – who took four for 42 in Essex’ second innings on Saturday – and Starc will help provide the ammunition aimed to unsettle England’s openers.

It is a role the one-time Yorkshire player is more than happy to fulfil.

“Having some guys who can bowl some good heat – and we can swing it – it is always good to see those batsmen jumping around and making life hard for them,” said Starc, who had a brief spell with the English county during 2012.

“When you have a few guys who can consistently bowl over 140kph (87mph), that is great to have because there is no respite.

“We will have Mitch Johnson coming in, who has terrorised England in Australia, then Josh and I are following on and can hopefully both push it up a decent pace as well.”

Starc feels in a good place as he aims to secure Australia a first Ashes win in England for more than a decade.

“I have probably gained a yard or two but for me it is that consistency, which is what I was questioned about for a long time and tried to find,” he said.

“There is that confidence in myself now that in a pretty dead, lifeless wicket I can produce consistently.

“Now over the last six months, it is really getting to the point where it needs to be in terms of being able to swing the ball for a while.

“It is all merging into one and I am starting to see results.”

While much has been made of sledging in the build-up to the teams walking out at Sophia Gardens, Starc intends to let his bowling do all the talking.

“I am not one to chirp the batsmen, I am just trying to concentrate on bowling and do my own thing. I will let them think about it, but I am not one to chat every ball,” he said.

“I am not the same all-out aggression like Mitch (Johnson), and am not going to change the way I play cricket just for one series.

“I am still going to be trying to do the same thing I have done over the past 12 months, to play some good cricket.”

Starc’s spell at Yorkshire, which was held up after a visa issue, may have been short-lived but the Australian hopes it will have nevertheless given him some valuable insight into the mindset of now established England players Joe Root, Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance.

“I spent a lot of time with them in those three months when I was here,” Starc recalled.

“They have gone on to bigger things now, playing for England, and done well.

“It is not so much about their Test cricket or their red-ball cricket, but as people and their approach the game, I guess I have learned a bit about them.”

Starc added: “I only played one-and-a-half (County) Championship games with them, so for us it is more for the way we have watched them play in the last (Test) series against New Zealand.

“With Ballance and Root, we have played a bit more cricket against them.

“We will definitely sit down and discus the whole line up, not just those three, before the first Test, but I will be giving all that I know about them.”

Published: Sunday 5th July 2015 by The News Editor

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