Peter Handscomb working closely with coach Justin Langer. Picture: AAP
Peter Handscomb working closely with coach Justin Langer. Picture: AAP

Starc nightmare waiting for India in Perth

When Mitchell Starc is at his absolute best he can blow teams off the park and on this pacey new Perth pitch he could be an absolute nightmare on Friday.

It's very unusual with such a short turnaround to see the quicks bowling in between Tests, so I was pretty excited to see him go out and bowl at training on Wednesday.

Starcy is a guy who is always trying to get better and for an experienced player like him that roll your sleeves up attitude really rubs off on the younger guys.

Aaron Finch is the same. He's an experienced player, he's a bit older than a lot of the boys, but he's still trying to get better every day and that's a great trait of a lot of our top six.

 

Paine expects Mitchell Starc to bounce back in Perth. Picture: AP
Paine expects Mitchell Starc to bounce back in Perth. Picture: AP

 

Shane Warne was critical of Starcy's body language a few years ago at the Gabba and I remember it really fired him up.

I haven't got the impression the criticism in the media has got under his skin this time, but what I have sensed is that he's really up for this Test and this series and he's doing everything possible to prepare the best he can.

The way he batted on the last day in Adelaide, and seeing him out there training shows me how much he wants to win this series.

There may be external pressure on Peter Handscomb, Finchy and Shaun Marsh, but internally we know the calibre of players they are and we're backing them. Their training, preparation and hunger to learn and improve is something I've been extremely impressed with. Their honest feedback and willingness to share their knowledge has also had huge impact on the younger guys like Travis Head and Marcus Harris.

The dynamic of our group is unique. Age wise you would say it's relatively experienced but Test match wise it's very inexperienced. In our top six we have a debutant and two players who have only played three Tests each.

While we might be lacking in experience, the hunger and drive to learn and improve is unquestionable.

Even as early as Wednesday morning the guys spoke about the need to rotate the strike more and went straight out there to practice those little tweaks which is going to be a huge key because Virat Kohli likes to put the field straight back to stop our boundaries.

This dressing room really wants to reward the Australian public for the commitment they've shown us with a win, and I'd also love to see the guys rewarded for their efforts because they're working their backsides off.

 

Mitchell Starc was back in the nets despite the short turn around. Picture: AAP
Mitchell Starc was back in the nets despite the short turn around. Picture: AAP

 

When we came through Perth airport we really felt and appreciated the public getting behind us after the fighting effort in Adelaide. But we're not happy with our last performance. We're bitterly disappointed we lost that game.

Certainly rotating the strike off Ravi Ashwin and their quicks is a huge focus for us because we know they're going to drop the point and square leg fielders quite quickly and it's a real opportunity to rotate the strike.

We're not going to score as many boundaries as we'd like but if we can execute our plans, we believe it can give us an edge in the match.

I know it's not the WACA anymore, but from what we know we think the wicket at the new Perth stadium is going to suit Starcy down to the ground.

While Perth can sometimes be a trap for fast bowlers bowling too short, Starcy is a guy who pitches the ball up.

If the ball is swinging and he's bowling the length he bowls in Perth, look out.

Starcy will take plenty of confidence if the ball is flying through to the keeper, and I believe he's in a really good place. It could all come together very quickly for him in this Test.

 

Peter Handscomb working closely with coach Justin Langer. Picture: AAP
Peter Handscomb working closely with coach Justin Langer. Picture: AAP

 

Overall in Adelaide I thought he bowled really well, he swung the ball in the first innings and he looked in a really good rhythm for the majority of the Test.

Like all of us he'll have areas he wants to improve in from the first Test, but from what I've witnessed it's the most consistent form he's been in for some time, which is exciting for us.

He's recovered well from Adelaide and was bowling with plenty of pace at training yesterday. I can't wait to see him steam in at full speed come Friday.

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