Ashes

Starc: Smith should consult bowlers before follow-on decision

2017-12-07 14:54
Steve Smith (Getty)

Cape Town - Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc believes that in future skipper Steve Smith will consult with the bowlers before deciding whether or not to enforce the follow-on.

Smith chose not to enforce the follow on against England in Adelaide allowing the tourists back into the game as they knocked over Australia cheaply.

It was revealed during the Adelaide Test that Smith had not consulted the bowlers before making his decision.

Starc said after Australia won the Test to take a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series: "If we're in that position again, I'm sure we'll chat about it as a group.

"As Smithy said, it's a long summer. It's a massive series for us. The three of us (Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins) haven't really played that much cricket together, in the longer formats anyway, and there's a lot of cricket to be played after the series as well.

"So, in the end, we won the Test match anyway so the follow-on's irrelevant."

Australia have been quick to dismiss the decision as irrelevant however there is no doubting that England's performance in the field lifted the tourists even if they didn't win and it may spark a rally from Joe Root's struggling charges.

Coach Darren Lehmann said of the decision: "(I have) no dramas with it. Obviously it was a tough call at night, but give your bowlers a rest ... and the result is exactly what we're after anyway. So that's vindicated."

Starc feels that this Australian team will become better and warned England that their Ashes campaign could get even tougher.

He said: "The exciting thing is our bowling group can still get better.

"We've obviously managed to take 40 wickets in the last couple of weeks and do some really good things, but I think there's still a lot of room for improvement.

"'Gazza (Lyon) is bowling outstandingly at the moment. That allows the other three of us to do what we need to do from one end if need be", added Starc.

"Then Josh does what he does and allows Pat and me to bowl as fast as we want.

"I hope we see a nice, fast, bouncy wicket - a WACA of old - and we can get stuck into their batters again."

The critical third Ashes Test gets underway in Perth on December 14.

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