Dubai: Mitchell Starc, Australia’s pace warhead who skipped the Indian Premier League 2020, says he has learnt to block off the ‘‘noise’’ from his country’s former greats in a bid to make a difference against India in the upcoming Test series.
Spin great Shane Warne described Starc’s bowling as “atrocious” after he took five wickets in the opening match against India on their 2018-19 tour, a match the tourists won by 31 runs to set up their first ever Test series win in Australia.
“I think I let the noise get to me, to be perfectly honest, which is a big reason why I don’t pay attention to anything now,” the left-arm speedster told Cricket Australia website.
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“... now I just couldn’t care less what people say. I just don’t need to listen to that stuff anymore. I don’t read it and I’m a happier person for it.
“As long as I have people around me who I trust talking to, and (in) the change room as well ... that positive reinforcement is there no matter what,” he added.
Starc will play in New South Wales’ next two Sheffield Shield games as he looks to fine-tune his slightly tweaked bowling action before facing India.
Kohli’s side arrive next month for six limited-overs internationals followed by a four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“To have a couple of Shield games now, to just focus on that and continue to reinforce some of the little changes I’ve made over the last couple of months, it’s a good chance to make that happen against some good domestic players,” said Starc.
Meanwhile, authorities are targeting crowds of at least 25,000 people per day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the second Test against India, a government official said.
Melbourne, Australia’s second most populous city, was released from a coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday, with retail and hospitality businesses opening their doors for the first time in months.
Victoria state sports minister Martin Pakula said the government would develop a plan with Cricket Australia and the MCG to allow the famed 100,000-seat stadium to be at one-quarter capacity for the Test starting on December 26.