One can well imagine how a batsman would feel when a 6 feet 5 inch comes running in, ready to hurl the cherry at 140 kmph. Will Indias wickets turn out to be the Aussies graveyard?
From the Australian Glenn McGrath to Mohammad Irfan from Pakistan, whether playing at home or away, India have a history of finding it a tad difficult while facing towering fast bowlers. And, that is something Australia would be keeping in mind when they take on India in a four-match Test series starting in Chennai on February 22. Even if not the whole pace bunch, at least one of Australia's leading pacers in recent times -- Mitchell Starc -- will surely be a force to reckon with in the upcoming series.
Story first published on: Saturday, 09 February 2013 13:24
Starc has been the pick of the Australian bowlers of late. The left-armer has scalped 19 wickets across all the formats of the game so far this year - including two five-wicket hauls against the West Indies at home. He is also known for bowling sizzling opening spells. Starc made his international debut against India in an ODI on October 20, 2010, in Visakhapatnam. The fact that he went wicket-less will dawn on his mind when he starts in the Chennai Test.
Since his debut, the 23-year-old from New South Wales has improved a lot as a bowler and has been an automatic choice in the Australian Playing XI. The speedster has so far played seven Test matches, bagging 28 wickets at an average of 29.32 after he made his Test debut in 2011 against New Zealand. He was, however, dropped after an unimpressive two-match series. But Starc proved himself during a Test against South Africa at Perth, where he scalped his first five-wicket haul, finishing with eight wickets in the match!
The current world No. 40 also found success during the Test series against Sri Lanka at home recently; where he got 10 wickets including his second five-for.
If some doubters might think that Starc would be a flop or below average in Indian conditions, they must know that the Sydney Sixers’ pacer also has experience in bowling at sub-continent wickets. During the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year, Starc had floored almost every other batsman in the world, finishing as the third highest wicket-taker with 10 scalps in six games at 16.40 apiece.
That's not all. Apart from Starc, Cricket Australia has fielded a strong pace battery, led by world No. 4 Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird. And in all probability, India might once again be treated to some chin music of the Australian kind. The visitors are, of course, taking a lot of motivation from England’s recent 2-1 Test win against Team India.