Starc looms as potential 'left-arm' weapon against Cook for Ashes

Sydney, July 2 (ANI): Australian bowler Mitchell Starc is looming as a major weapon against England captain Alastair Cook given that his best deliveries, as seen in Australia's opening tour game in Taunton, are almost unplayable, according to the Australian media.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, although Cook averages 69 as captain of England and 50 in Ashes battles and has good concentration, New Zealand's left arm seamer Trent Boult had celebrated his wicket four times during the recent home and away series against England.

With India's Zaheer Khan and Australia's Mitchell Johnson also dismissing Cook out four times each in Test cricket, the Australians have taken careful note of these dismissals, figuring that English batsmen have relatively little exposure to quality left-arm pace and hope that Starc can trouble Cook with his angles, swing and speed.

The report further said that although Starc has taken time to find his rhythm following ankle surgery and had struggled in his only ICC Champions Trophy match, he, along with James Pattinson, had, however, collected 13 wickets between them with the second new ball in the first innings against Somerset.

However, the report said that Australia was brutally attacked by Cook, who will join a new opening combination with upcoming batting star Joe Root following the axing of Nick Compton, during the home series in 2010-11, when the opener was man of the series.

But former captain Andrew Strauss said that the duo would be tested by the likely new ball attack of Starc and Pattinson.

Stating that he believes that Compton has every right to feel aggrieved at losing his spot to Root, Strauss however, said that Root will take the pressure off Cook with his ability to score fluently.

According to Strauss, the team with the higher average opening partnership over the series will end up raising the urn at The Oval, joking that therefore openers should be paid more than any other player. (ANI)

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