Ashes Series: Former all-rounder Brendon Julian has advised Australia to use left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc as a first-change bowler instead of taking the new ball during the upcoming Test matches in England, citing the late swing generated in bowling with the Dukes ball.
Starc has majorly opened the bowling for Australia in Tests in the last couple of years, including picking 30 wickets at an average of 30.86 while donning the same role in England. But he was out of playing eleven in four out of Australia’s five Tests during the 2019 Ashes in England, as the tourists resorted to rotating bowlers throughout the series.
“With the Dukes ball, it takes about five or six overs to get the lacquer off, and then the ball starts to shape a bit. The key with the Dukes ball, because it’s got a nice, ropy seam, you’ve got to get it in the channel early. You’ve got to be hitting the stumps as much as possible.
I wouldn’t necessarily open the bowling with Mitch Starc in England, purely because I don’t think the Dukes ball swings early. I’d be happy with Hazlewood and Pat Cummins (opening). They’re seamers, and they’re going to bowl more stump-to-stump,” Julian was quoted as saying by Fox Cricket.
Starc, who has 306 Test wickets, is set to embark on his fourth Ashes trip to England, apart from a World Test Championship final against India from June 7-11 at The Oval, with the Australia squad set to depart for London on Friday.
“When the lacquer gets off the ball and it starts to shape back in, that’s when I’d be throwing the ball to Mitch Starc as first change. That’s nothing going against Mitch Starc, I just feel that if the ball’s not swinging early on, I’d be going with Hazlewood and Cummins,” added Julian.
Australia haven’t won an Ashes series in England since 2001 and will be aiming to do so in 2023 after the last series in 2019 ended in a draw. After Edgbaston hosts the first Ashes Test from June 16-20, the rest of the games will take place at Lord’s (June 28-July 2), Headingley (July 6-10), Old Trafford (July 19-23) and The Oval (July 27-31).