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Starc Ready to Lead Australia's Attack in Challenging Conditions

Mitchell Starc is ready step up and do the heavy lifting as Australia's sole specialist pace bowler should the tourists opt for a three-pronged spin attack in next month's two-test series against Pakistan.

Reuters |September 25, 2018, 5:21 PM IST
Starc Ready to Lead Australia's Attack in Challenging Conditions

Mitchell Starc is ready step up and do the heavy lifting as Australia's sole specialist pace bowler should the tourists opt for a three-pronged spin attack in next month's two-test series against Pakistan.

Using a trio of slow bowlers in the United Arab Emirates remains a strong possibility for the Australians as they explore means to capture 20 wickets in the absence of injured pace duo Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

Cummins played the lone paceman role in Bangladesh last year when Australia selected three specialist spinners for the first time in 40 years and the 28-year-old Starc is poised to emulate his fellow quick against Pakistan.

"I haven't had to do that before," Starc told cricket.com.au on Tuesday.

"If I need to bowl long spells and be the only out-and-out quick, then I can definitely fill that role. We've got guys like (all-rounder) Mitch Marsh who's back bowling now, I'm sure he'll be a big part of the team with bat and ball.

"We've got other part-timers to call on if need be. If conditions suit spin and they go down the road of the extra spinners, I can change my role slightly again."

Starc, who tested a new run-up to prevent further injuries but retained his old one as he was losing pace, went wicketless in his first test in the region but has been Australia's most successful bowler in South Asia since that 2013 match in India.

The left-arm paceman took 24 wickets on the 2016 tour of Sri Lanka, the biggest haul by an Australian in a three-test series, and will look to replicate that form in Dubai, which hosts the first test from Oct. 7, and Abu Dhabi 11 days later.

"It's something I'll probably look at and try to take little things out of to take into this series on the subcontinent with where and how I bowled -- the lengths and some reverse swing," Starc added.

"In the UAE we'll use the Kookaburra ball like we did in Sri Lanka -- hopefully we can get it moving around and I can get a few wickets and help the team out."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
see more