LONDON (Reuters) – Australia’s strength in pace makes Mitchell Starc believe that he and fellow quick Josh Hazlewood will have to work harder to break into the playing XI in the ongoing Ashes series against England.
Left-arm quick Starc finished as the highest wicket-taker in the 50-overs World Cup last month but was overlooked, along with Hazlewood, for the Ashes opener in Edgbaston which Australia won by 251 runs.
Starc naturally wants to play the second test at Lord’s from Wednesday but is even keener on Australia bringing home the urn, even if it means spending more time on the sidelines.
“We’re here to win the Ashes,” said Starc, who took 10 wickets in the last test he played, against Sri Lanka in February at Canberra.
“We’re not just here to make it on the park. We want to win this Ashes.
“Whether that’s a different bowling attack each game, or the same through five test matches, it’s pretty exciting.”
Instead of wallowing in personal disappointment, the 29-year-old is finding joy in the success of his pace colleagues, describing the group as a “really close set of mates”.
He was particularly pleased with a fit-again Pattinson’s return to test cricket after more than three years.
“It’s awesome to see Jimmy back after what he’s been through and I guess similarly what Pat Cummins has been through previously,” said Starc.
“Having his body let him down and to come back and play test cricket again was pretty special.
“To see your mates work it back and pull on the Baggy Green again and perform so well win the test match, that’s exciting for us.
“It makes Josh and I have to work that bit harder to try and make it back as well, which I think you want from a whole squad.”
Starc said Australia have acquired an all-surface pace attack, complimented by off-spinner Nathan Lyon who ran through England’s second innings at Edgbaston.
“We’ve got a couple of a bit more aggressive guys, a couple of holders there that build pressure and take wickets that way and a couple of guys that are probably a hybrid of both,” Starc explained.
“We’re quite a well-rounded attack and then you throw in Nathan Lyon, who just knows how to get it done in all conditions.
“We’re prepared for all conditions whether it be flat, green, seaming, swinging, slow, fast.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Christian Radnedge)