More to come, Starc warns England's batsmen

BRISBANE • Mitchell Starc has told England's tailenders to expect more of the same for the remainder of this Ashes series after Australia's attack, reviving memories of the 2013-14 whitewash, blew away their opponents for the second time.

The fourth and decisive day at the Gabba was another case of Starc, nicknamed The Mop for his ability to clean up, and his colleagues exposing the lack of solidity in Joe Root's side beyond No. 8, with their final four wickets falling for 10 runs in the space of 20 balls.

With England skittled for 195 in their second innings to set up a lowly target of 170, openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft then drove the hosts to 114 without loss at stumps and need only 56 runs today to wrap up a handsome win.

The left-armed Starc, who finished with three for 51, said: "We have spoken about their tail. The way our boys bowled against them four years ago (in the 5-0 whitewash) is the blueprint and they can expect some more short stuff."

Though Jonny Bairstow was among the collapse, the ramped cut shot that picked out Peter Handscomb at third man on 42 off the bowling of Starc, while injudicious in itself, betrayed a lack of confidence in his partner Stuart Broad and what was left to come in Jake Ball and Jimmy Anderson.

England's first-innings slide from a promising 246-4 to 302 all out highlighted the loss of Ben Stokes, while he continues to wait for the outcome of a police probe into a nightclub incident two months ago and any cricket punishment that may follow.

Much was made of England's middle-to-lower order strength of Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, but the three vulnerable tailenders have all been peppered by Starc and Pat Cummins, with just one Broad cameo of 20 to show for it.

Starc was quick to highlight the poor returns of Alastair Cook in his first two innings and that Root had been pinned lbw twice, the second of which came after bringing up his 33rd Test half-century.

With only 10 centuries to date, the captain's failure to make it count more regularly in some ways highlights one of the problems.

Moeen bemoaned the tourists' inability to score an individual century, with James Vince coming the closest with 83 in the first innings.

He said: "We got in and couldn't quite get that big hundred and the wicket was still good to bat on...

"The new guys played well. (Australia) are a good side, but maybe not as good as we make out."



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2017, with the headline 'More to come, Starc warns England's batsmen'. Print Edition | Subscribe