The Ashes war of words has heated up with Mitchell Starc delivering a few pointed barbs on the eve of the third Test.
Starc struggled to hide his glee in the wake of the brouhaha brewing in England over the state of pitches for the Ashes series, currently level at 1-1.
Coach Trevor Bayliss called on curators to produce typical English seaming wickets last week, not the slow-and-low strip at Lord’s that played “into the Australians’ hands”.
England director of cricket Andrew Strauss then denied a report he requested slower decks for the five-Test series.
The third Test starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday, with Starc noting Australia will be “licking our lips” if the pitch has been produced with Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad in mind.
“They’re not really sure what they want to do now. Some of their team want batting-friendly wickets and that hasn’t helped them at Lord’s,” Starc said.
“They want to get their bowlers back in the game, but we’ve got the pace as well.
“It doesn’t matter what they dish up. We’ve got all bases covered.”
Starc also fired back at England allrounder Moeen Ali, who recently opined Australia spearhead Mitchell Johnson had “bowled very well in one innings out of four” during the series.
“Moeen can keep watching the replay of the ball he got in the second innings if he likes. I don’t want to face that stuff,” Starc said.
Ali had a private training session at Edgbaston on Sunday, presumably focusing on his short-ball game.
Ali’s dismissal was the most graphic depiction of Johnson’s express pace amid a woeful collapse at Lord’s.
The No.8 batsman fended a bouncer to substitute fielder Shaun Marsh at short leg as England were rolled for 103 in 37 overs.
It was an incredibly meek effort with the bat.
“Yes and no,” Starc said, when asked if he was surprised with the way England folded.
“I think we’ve probably seen it in the past in certain games they’ve played.
“But I think we did a lot of things really well in that Test.
“We were ahead from the word go and didn’t let England back in the game, which we need to do for the rest of the series.”
Starc added he was happy to see Gary Ballance, who has a Test average of almost 48, dropped for Edgbaston.
“They’re searching for some form after Lord’s,” he said.
“Whenever you make the opposition make changes, it shows you’re on top. It’s about staying there and really pushing that home this week.”