Poms worry Starc could put a different spin on Ashes

It’s just not the damage he can do to a batting line-up that makes Mitchell Starc so compelling for the Ashes, it’s also what his ‘big left boot’ can do for the fortunes of Nathan Lyon.

England great Michael Vaughan has warned Australia to drop out-of-sorts quick Mitchell Starc at their peril, saying it would play into the hands of their Ashes rivals.

Starc was a lightning rod for criticism in the wake of Australia’s stunning 3-1 series defeat to an undermanned India last summer as the much-vaunted attack was humbled by an inexperienced outfit missing captain Virat Kohli for three of four Tests.

The left-arm quick took 11 wickets at an average of 40.72, but Vaughan believes it would be music to the ears of England’s selectors if Australia opted to bench the left-arm quick.

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“He’s had a bit of time where it’s not gone his way. But give me a left-armer that can bowl 90 miles an hour any day of the week,” Vaughan told News Corp.

“He knows he’s had success against England in the past, particularly in Australia so I don’t think he’ll be too concerned.”

But Vaughan believes it is what Starc brings to teammate Nathan Lyon that should cement his spot for the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba later this year.

It’s Starc’s big left boot, coming over the wicket, which will also be crucial in creating the rough outside the off-stump of England’s right-handers which Lyon will be able to exploit.

“When you’ve got an off-spinner like Nathan Lyon, why would you get rid of a left-arm over to create rough for Nathan Lyon?” Vaughan asked.

“England won’t have an off-spinner, they’ll have a left-arm spinner. Why would you want three right-arm overs, to create more rough for Jack Leach?”

Australia’s attack was knocked down a peg or two against India, which Vaughan believed was simply a strategic misfire which they will need to learn from before England’s arrival.

“Against India, they bowled too short, they weren’t disciplined enough to hit the top of off for long periods,” he said.

“They got themselves in the mentality that they could blow India away with the short-stuff, and it backfired.

“Pace is a lot, but I think you need a bit more – that element of skill and the ability to manoeuvre the ball.”

Vaughan will join Australia coach Justin Langer and fellow commentators Mark Waugh and Brendon Julian in the first episode of a new podcast series, Road To The Ashes, which will be launched on Fox Cricket at 8.30pm on Wednesday.

The series will not only cast forward to the looming five-Test battle next summer but throw a spotlight on great series of the past with Vaughan’s stirring leadership of England’s trend-snapping 2005 Ashes series sure to draw out a rich vein of colourful stories.

Vaughan once quipped that getting the freedom of his home town, Sheffield, after the Ashes win meant he could let his sheep loose in the town square and that Andrew Flintoff tipped no one would turn up to see the team’s victory ride to Trafalgar Square, which attracted 25,000 fans.

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