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Mitchell Starc is Australia's Biggest Weapon, says Mitchell Marsh

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc remains Australia's most potent weapon with the ball despite their spinners stealing the show in the series opener against India, team mate Mitchell Marsh said on Thursday.

Reuters |March 2, 2017, 4:33 PM IST
Mitchell Starc is Australia's Biggest Weapon, says Mitchell Marsh

Bengaluru: Fast bowler Mitchell Starc remains Australia's most potent weapon with the ball despite their spinners stealing the show in the series opener against India, team mate Mitchell Marsh said on Thursday.

On the turning track in Pune, left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe bagged 12 wickets while slow-bowling partner Nathan Lyon took five as the touring side thumped India by 333 runs inside three days in the first match of the four-test series.

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Nature of the pitch meant left-armer Starc bowled only 11 overs in the first test but his workload could increase significantly at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium which hosts the second test from Saturday.

"He's one of the best bowlers in the world, if not the best bowler in the world," all-rounder Marsh told reporters on Thursday. "He's certainly the best reverse swing bowler in the world.

"In these conditions, whilst all the talk has been about the spinners Starc is still our biggest weapon, I think," said Marsh.

"It's great if he's in the Indians' heads, hopefully he can take a few wickets for us."

The Bengaluru track is not expected to provide as much turn as Pune for the slow bowlers and the pacemen's ability to reverse swing the old ball could prove crucial.

Marsh said Australia is well equipped in that department with Starc and Josh Hazlewood in their side.

"In Pune the wicket itself did a lot of work for us, it's not necessarily the square here," Marsh said. "These balls scuff up well early on. Reverse swing will be huge for us.

"If we can get it going we've got two of the best reverse swing bowlers in the world. They will still be huge weapons for us."

On the slow and dry tracks in Asia, where Australia had lost their last nine tests before their Pune heroics, defence was a key aspect of batting, according to Marsh.

"It's a big part of playing well over here, and it's something all our batsmen have worked on," the 25-year-old said. "Against a turning ball, if you can back your defence then attacking the ball that's there will be much better.

"In these conditions you've got to earn the right to attack and that's by having a solid defence. That's what I've been working on."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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