Mitchell Starc adamant Australia will not change approach to Test cricket
Mitchell Starc has insisted Australia will stick with their pragmatic approach ahead of this week’s second Ashes Test but was tight-lipped over his own selection at Lord’s.
Australia claimed a thrilling two-wicket win in the series curtain-raiser at Edgbaston last Tuesday with a more careful and cautious style of cricket in the face of England’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ brand.
England seamer Ollie Robinson claimed after the narrow defeat in Birmingham that Australia would have to “change their approach to keep up with how we’re going to play” despite the hosts going 1-0 down in the series.
Starc, who was left out of the XI last week, is adamant that will not be the case.
“They have brought an overly aggressive head space to Test cricket,” the Australian pace bowler noted.
“The way they are approaching it, there is going to be a reaction when you are either bowling or facing that. I think that is natural but we will stick to our guns and I am sure they will as well.
“Just because they are scoring at a higher rate or trying to score at a higher rate doesn’t mean you go to one-day cricket. There is plenty of ways to skin a cat as we saw last week in the way they approached it as opposed to the way we did.
“We’ve played enough against England in white-ball cricket to know they can all play that sort of thing. I have certainly seen Joe (Root) enough to know he can play those (ramp) shots.
“They are going to take the game on now in Test cricket as they have done for the last 12 months. That is their approach and we will stick to the way we want to approach our Test cricket.
“Hopefully come the end of the series we are sitting back with more wins than them.”
Starc’s presence in the penultimate press conference before the second Test begins suggests the 33-year-old will be recalled by captain Pat Cummins.
The left-arm quick has taken 37 wickets in 10 Tests in England but only featured once in the 2019 series here and was coy over his own selection chances.
“In terms of the team, I haven’t got any indication either way. Your guess is as good as mine until the selectors decide,” Starc insisted.
“I have different skills that fit into this bowling group so if and when I get a turn, I’ll be ready to go. If not this week, then I’ll get ready for Headingley.
“I was used to it from last time, so it is all good. I have been around long enough, been dropped enough. Probably been dropped the most in this squad so it is not something new for me. It probably won’t be the last time either.”
Four wickets from Starc at Old Trafford back in 2019 helped Australia retain the Ashes but they were pegged back in the final Test at the Kia Oval and had to settle for a 2-2 drawn series.
It extended the tourists’ winless streak in England, which dates back to 2001, and the 78-capped Test veteran conceded the squad are aware of the opportunity in front of them.
Starc added: “We’re here at Lord’s, an exciting place to be and play cricket. We are coming off a good week but know we can play better cricket and the way England are playing their cricket, they will come as hard if not harder.
“It is a chance to go 2-0 up. It is not lost on us the opportunity we do have.
“For some of us it is our fourth trip here and coming off the back of 19, where we retained the Ashes but missed out on winning, the carrot is certainly there.
“Certainly for the wider group, players and staff who have been so close or lost series here, it is certainly an incentive to keep going but we are not looking too far past this week.”