Just as well Mitchell Starc didn’t have to make way for a second spinner in Australia’s first Test against the West Indies in Dominica.
Australia’s World Cup bowling hero was thought the man most likely to have to sit out the opening Test if selectors picked Fawad Ahmed to play alongside Nathan Lyon at Windsor Park.
It would have been a harsh call on the left-arm quick, but that’s the cut-throat nature of Australia’s world-class fast bowling stocks these days.
Instead, selectors backed their strength and got rewarded handsomely.
Thrown both the first and second new balls in the Windies second innings, Starc would’ve made any English batsmen watching back in Blighty hide behind the couch as he produced the 150km/h swinging deliveries that have terrorised limited overs batting line-ups around the world.
The 25-year-old picked up a wicket at the end of day two and then came back with the second new ball on Friday to claim 3-2 off three overs as the Windies lost 7-35 to be dismissed for just 216.
Captain Michael Clarke said it was an impressive display and one that would give him pause to think when deciding who takes the new pill when the second Test in Jamaica starts next week.
“The way he’s bowling at the moment, it’s extremely handy,” Clarke said.
“He’s bowling really good pace – and I think we’ve seen in one-day cricket of late, his execution … to be able to bowl that pace and swing it is one thing, but to be able to get it on the money? He’s class, that’s for sure.
“All three of the guys can bowl with the new ball, so we’ll wait and see what we think is best for conditions in the next Test.”