Image courtesy of: Zimbio
The Ashes may be more than 200 days away, but Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc is eager to get the upper hand going into the highly-anticipated series when his side take on England in the Champions Trophy.
Australia and England, who will host the tournament, are scheduled to face each other at Edgbaston on June 10.
With an opportunity to go up against new Test captain Joe Root, vice-captain Ben Stokes and a few more regular faces in the Test squad, Starc is eager to give England a taste of what is to come at the Ashes in November.
“Because it’s such a short tournament, you basically need to win every game anyway,” Starc told cricket.com.au. “So every game is going to be important, but with the Ashes on later in the year, there’s always going to be a little bit of momentum there if we can knock the Poms off, especially in England, and if we can create a few headaches with our quicks especially.
“Both teams have got a fair amount of cricket between the Champions Trophy and the Ashes, but it’s always important to beat the Poms whenever we play them.
“And hopefully we can create a bit of doubt or open up a few old wounds or find a few extra weaknesses heading into the summer back here.”
Meanwhile, Starc also warned all the teams in the Champions Trophy to not to take fellow seamer John Hastings lightly.
Hastings was included in Australia’s Champions Trophy squad at the expense of all-rounder James Faulkner.
With Hastings being the joint-second leading wicket-taker in ODI cricket last year, Starc pointed out that the 31-year-old could be lethal in English conditions.
“I think he’s underestimated a bit in what he offers our team,” Starc said. “He’s that point of difference.
“He hasn’t got the pace that the other four of us have, but he’s got fantastic skills, he’s got slower balls and he’s really good at the death as well.
“He’s really tall, he’s probably the tallest out of the five of us, so he can generate that bounce. And in England, it’ll be different conditions early in their summer, so that could play another part as well.
“So I think having five guys there who offer something different and you throw in (all-rounders) Moises Henriques and Marcus Stoinis as well, we’ve got a good battery of quicks who can bowl serious pace, have some serious skill and have good experience bowling at the death.”