As the much anticipated Ashes series got underway today, Mitchell Starc provided it a sensational start on the very first delivery with an absolute corker to the England opener Rory Burns. Batting first on a slightly greenish pitch in overcast conditions, the visitors were in for a stiff challenge and Starc made sure they got the taste of it straightaway.
Rory Burns would be actually disappointed with the way he played the ball. Although it swung late, the line was towards the leg stump and a left hander would expect himself to make a connection on that sort of line even with a little bit of late swing. But, Burns had his head falling over as he completely missed the line of the ball.
If the ball hadn’t swung, it would have probably gone past the leg stump with the angle that Mitchell Starc was creating from over the wicket. But, it swung late and shaped into the leg stump. That wicket set the tempo for Australia going forward, as England struggled all the way through in tricky batting conditions and eventually got bowled out for 147.
Mitchell Starc was not a certainty in the Australian playing XI ahead of the Gabba test
There were question marks over Starc’s spot in the playing XI with Jhye Richardson doing well in the Shield this season. While Starc still has a long way to go to stop the murmurs around his spot, he wouldn’t have hoped for a better start than the one he got this morning.
As far as Rory Burns is concerned, he has had this issue of his head falling over in the past as well, but that has largely to do with the way he sets himself up and Starc, who can swing the new ball late and from the middle-leg stump line, might have Burns in trouble more often in this series.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 8, 2021
With the ball seaming around, England would have probably wanted a score of 250 on the board as it would have given their bowlers something to bowl at, but none of their batsmen, barring a brief partnership between Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler, really dug in there for a decent period of time.
Jos Buttler tried to counter-attack and got a few boundaries away, but Mitchell Starc gave Australia the breakthrough again with a delivery that went away from the right-hander with over the wicket angle and induced an outside edge off Buttler.