Mitchell Starc has told England there will be no let-up when they face Australia’s pace attack in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff on July 8.
The left-arm fast bowler took nine wickets in Australia’s final warm-up match as they defeated county side Essex over the weekend and Starc is now set to be an increasingly important figure following the injury-enforced retirement of fellow-paceman Ryan Harris.
But with Australia’s squad also including another left-arm fast bowler in Mitchell Johnson, as well as emerging right-arm seamer Josh Hazlewood, the 25-year-old Starc is looking forward to seeing England’s top-order batsmen unsettled by pace and movement.
“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 reigning English county champions Yorkshire 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, Australia’s man of the tournament when they won this year’s World Cup, added he had increased his pace and that would help him combat the effect of unresponsive pitches.
“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.”
Amid all the talk of ‘sledging’, Starc said he had little time for verbal spats with opposition players.
“I am not one to chirp the batsmen, I am just trying to concentrate on bowling and do my own thing,” 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 time at Yorkshire, delayed by visa problems, did allow him to get to know three England batsmen in Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth.
“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.
He 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.
“We will definitely sit down and discuss the whole line-up, not just those three, before the first Test, but I will be giving all that I know about them,” Starc said.