Mitchell Starc proved in the opening Test in Pune he could extract bounce from almost any sort of pitch and Australia’s pace spearhead is now ready to bend his back on a wicket widely expected to be as flat as a pancake.
Starc was overshadowed by spinners Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon in Australia’s first Test win in India since 2004, delivering just 11 overs in a match that ended on day three because of an incredibly dry deck.
He and Josh Hazlewood sent down a combined total of 120 balls, the lowest tally in more than 80 years by Australian pacemen in a Test.
Starc, who took 2-38 in India’s first innings in Pune before bowling just two overs in the hosts’ second knock, predicts the Bangalore Test – starting on Saturday – will be more of a grind for both teams.
The left-armer believes reverse swing will shape Australia’s push for a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series, but hopes the bouncer can also be a big weapon in the contest.
“I can’t see it being too bouncy or quick because it’s a weakness of the Indian batters,” Starc said.
“Hopefully, there’s a little bit of bounce in the Bangalore wicket or the wickets to come in this series.
“It’s probably something not many batsmen like, especially the guys over in the subcontinent, where they’re not used to those faster or bouncier wickets.”
Starc hoping for reverse swing in Bangalore
Starc dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara with a rearing delivery in Australia’s 333-run victory in Pune, making a mockery of the slow-and-low surface.
Retired India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly were among many local pundits outraged by the spinners’ paradise in Pune, all but demanding a flatter pitch at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
But even the most-creative curator would struggle to eliminate the prospect of reverse swing, which Starc put to good use last year in Sri Lanka.
“I’m sure it will be a pretty dry wicket again so that’ll probably…