Mitchell Starc broke through when he removed Dawid Malan © Getty Images
Mitchell Starc revealed that Australia’s captain Steven Smith did not consult with his pace bowlers before deciding not to enforce the follow-on ahead of the night session on the third day of the Adelaide Ashes Test.
With a 215-run lead, Smith could have sent Joe Root’s Englishmen back in to bat a second time in the evening, but instead chose to bat again and extend the lead. James Anderson and Chris Woakes then moved the pink ball around under lights to claim four wickets, including those of Smith and David Warner, before the close.
“We didn’t [get asked] tonight. He’s the captain, he makes the decisions,” Starc said when asked whether the bowlers were consulted about their willingness to bowl again. “There’s two full night sessions to go – we had a tough session with the bat but there’s a lot of cricket to go and a lot of batting in the sheds with Shaun and Tim. But in terms of the follow-on it’s all up to Smithy.
“We know the night sessions are the toughest, but to be four down, we still know we’ve got a good lead and there’s two night sessions to go. Once the sun comes out tomorrow it’s the easiest time to bat through the day so we’ll get some runs there and build on our lead and then some exciting cricket to come.
“[There are] Pros and cons to both decisions I’m sure and we’ll look to build on our lead, give the bowlers a bit of extra time to come out fit and firing for that second innings and hopefully knock them over.”
Starc pointed out that rain on the second evening had reduced the amount of time England needed to bat against the pink ball on a pitch juiced up by evening moisture. Equally he said Australia, who bowled a decidedly full length when they got their chance with the ball, had noted how the visitors had missed the chance to take wickets earlier in the game by bowling too short.
“England have only had to [bat at night] for 10 overs so far and if they really want to win this Test match they’re going to have to go through two night sessions, so great signs for us with the ball if you look at that session we just saw with the bat,” Starc said. “With a lead of 260 going into a day session, we’re still very much in the driver’s seat.
“We did mention watching from the change rooms they did bowl a lot shorter than they would’ve liked and we saw after that first session they made an effort to bowl fuller and brought dismissals into the game. That’s something we spoke about as a bowling group, making sure we bowled a fuller length throughout the whole innings. They’ve got their length sorted now but that’s also something we can take on for our stuff as the game goes on as well.”
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo