Buoyant Starc set for heavier workload

Cricket: Australian pacer wary of Kohli comeback

Buoyant Starc set for heavier workload

Australia paceman Mitchell Starc is bracing for a heavier workload in the second Test against India having hardly broken a sweat in his team's romp in the series opener in Pune.

With spin twins Steve O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon claiming 17 of the 20 Indian wickets, Starc and pace colleague Josh Hazlewood bowled a combined 20 overs as Australia triumphed by 333 runs inside three days to go 1-0 up in the four-Test series.

"It's amazing. I think it's making up for the summer Josh and I had," Starc told reporters on Tuesday.

"The spinners bowled really well and the pitch didn't have much in it for Josh and me. There was very minimal natural swing because it was so abrasive and it didn't really go too much reverse.

"But when Steve's taking that many wickets and Nathan's bowling really well there's not really much need for us on that wicket."

World number one India were all out for 105 in the first innings and managed only two more in the second before succumbing to a crushing defeat that snapped their 19-Test unbeaten streak.

With the smarting hosts unlikely to repeat the mistake of rolling out another turning track at Bengaluru, Starc reckoned he and Hazlewood would have to shoulder more responsibility in the match starting on Saturday.

"I'm sure it will be a pretty dry wicket again, so that'll probably help reverse swing there and it's something we'll be working hard at all the time in the nets," said the 27-year-old.

Starc also won the opening duel against Indian skipper Virat Kohli by getting the star batsman out for a duck in the first innings, but felt the battle has just begun.

"We know (Kohli) is going to be another key wicket for the rest of the series. There's six more times we've got to get him out to really cement this series. We know he'll come back bigger and stronger, but he's one I'll take over Pujara at the moment," Starc said when asked to rate the importance of his twin strikes in Pune.

Starc and Kohli are former team-mates at Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the Australian is well aware of how dangerous the Indian skipper can be once he gets his eye in.

"He's a class player, we all know that. He's scored a mountain of runs already this year. We're going to have to be wary of that Virat comeback," Starc said of Kohli, who has scored double centuries in four successive series."

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)