Melbourne [Australia]: Mitchell Starc, who is part of the Australian team touring New Zealand for the Chappell-Hadlee series, has fond memories of the country and is eager to repeat his devastating performance with the ball against the Black Caps.
Starc has been a fan of swinging conditions on offer in New Zealand and this is no secret, especially when one remembers his stupendous performance in the lone match he has played in the country during the 2015 ODI World Cup.
The left-arm pacer violently swung the ball back late, that too at will, and claimed career-best figures of 6-28 and almost pulled Australia back from the death after they were rolled for 151 after batting first.
“Ball actually dominated bat for a change, as opposed to the other way around as was the case for most the games over the past 12 months,” news.com.au quoted Starc as saying.
Starc, who celebrates his 27th birthday on Monday, the day his side takes on the Kiwis in the first ODI, is hopeful that similar conditions would be on offer at Eden Park.
“It probably offers a bit more in the air and off the wicket than what we’ve seen in the last few games in Australia as well,” he said.
“It’s something the quicks are excited about, there’s probably a bit more in it,” he added.
The other aspect of the swinging conditions was also the fact that Australian batters have not been able to cope up with them.
After being dismissed for cheaply in the World Cup clash in 2015, Australia were bundled out for mere 148 in pursuit of New Zealand’s 307 last February on the same drop-in wicket that will be used in the Chappell-Hadlee opener.
“We’ve spoken about giving ourselves a bit more time,” Starc said. “For somewhere like here where it’s probably going to swing and nip a bit just giving yourself a chance to get in and see some balls some balls as batsmen.”
“You’ve always got a lot more time than you think, especially in 50-over cricket where you don’t have to score 300 in the first 40 overs of the game, you can make it up at the back-end,” he added.
The challenge for Australia would be a bit more difficult this time around with the absence of regular skipper Steve Smith and explosive opener David Warner. Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mathew Wade will lead the Men in Yellow.
The Auckland ODI will be followed by the second and third at Napier (February 2) and Hamilton (February 5) respectively. (ANI)