Starc's Red Ball Development Please, Long > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Starc's red-ball development pleases Langer

Langer revealed Starc has been getting better at hitting back-of-length delivery and is becoming a nightmare to face.

Australian coach Justin Langer has expressed delight at the development made by Mitchell Starc in red-ball cricket over the last few months. Starc, who is Australia's premier bowler in limited-overs cricket, hasn't been amongst the first names on the team sheet in the Test format as highlighted recently in the Ashes earlier this year. Langer revealed that he had a conversation with Starc alongside former skipper Ricky Ponting on the lengths the seamer bowls in Test cricket.

"What I'm most impressed with Mitchell Starc is that we talked to him, and I still remember one of the conversations at Hampshire with the white ball, I think Punter was there and I was there," Langer recalled ahead of the first Test of the home summer against Pakistan. "And we said, 'Mitch, if you hit that length more often, you're actually a scary commodity because you come from so high, you're so fast. If you bowl a bit full, a bit short, for really good players you let us off the hook. But if you keep hitting that length more regularly you are a nightmare.' His white-ball cricket has always been world-class."

While Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were first-choice in the pace attack during the Ashes, Starc had to jostle with the likes of Peter Siddle and James Pattinson to be the third seamer in the lineup. Eventually, Starc got to play only a solitary Test in which he picked up four wickets. Langer praised Starc's mentality while being asked to warm the benches despite picking up a match haul of 10 wickets in his most recent Test appearance before the Ashes, against Sri Lanka at home. With Pattinson now not available and Siddle getting the axe, Starc is set to play the Brisbane Test against Pakistan.

"What's impressed me is how hard he's worked, and he worked really hard with Troy Cooley through the Ashes when he wasn't playing," Langer pointed out. "He bowled beautifully in that fourth Test at Old Trafford, the ball didn't reverse swing there at all but he swung the ball and he bowled really well. I just love his development and that's what we see in a lot of the players. His maturity through that period of not playing four of the five Test matches. He took 10 wickets in the last against Sri Lanka. I just love his development, I can't wait to see him bowl this Test match."

Focusing more on the length that he wants Starc to target on a consistent basis, Langer has admitted that the 29-year-old can never be as consistent as the likes of Vernon Philander and Hazlewood who are renowned for hitting the ideal Test match lengths. But the work Starc has put in over the last few months will eventually help him reach that level, according to the Australian coach.

"He can bowl yorkers at will, he can bowl a good bouncer," Langer observed. "Getting more consistent on hitting that first-class length, and he's never going to be a Philander or he's never going to be in a sense Josh Hazlewood who is going to bowl the ball every ball, that's his strength.

"But the more consistent he can get hitting that back of a length delivery ... he is a nightmare to face and he is getting better and better at it and for that we are excited."

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