Australia’s gun fast bowler Mitchell Starc believes he and Josh Hazlewood will need to work harder to find a place in the playing XI in the ongoing Ashes series. Both of these fast bowlers could not break into the last XI of the first Test match at Edgbaston. Australia had convincingly won the first Test match by 251 runs and it is unlikely that the visitors will tinkle with the fast bowling battery.

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The pace battery of Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, and Peter Siddle scalped seven wickets between themselves in the first innings. Furthermore, Cummins had scalped four wickets in the second essay. Thus, it is going to be a difficult road back for Starc and Hazlewood into the final XI of the side.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Credits – Getty Images.

It is going to be a difficult road back for Starc.

On the other hand, Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers in the World Cup. The left-arm pacer had scalped 27 wickets, which was the most for any bowler in the tournament.

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Meanwhile, Starc stated that the focus is to win the Ashes and it doesn’t really matter who takes the field and gets the job done for the side.

“We’re here to win the Ashes,” Starc said on Friday. “We’re not just here to make it on the park. We want to win this Ashes. Whether that’s a different bowling attack each game, or the same through five Test matches, it’s pretty exciting. It makes Josh and I have to work that bit harder to try and make it back as well, which I think you want from a whole squad,” he added.

Meanwhile, James Pattinson has had his injury issues in the last five years. The fast bowler made a roaring comeback to Test cricket as he took two wickets in the first innings. Pattinson was able to hit the right length in the first Test and Starc is delighted for his teammate.

James Pattinson, BBL, Brisbane Heat, Melbourne Renegades
James Pattinson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pattinson has had his injury woes.

“It’s awesome to see Jimmy (Pattinson) back after what he’s been through and I guess similarly what Pat Cummins has been through previously. It’s a while ago now but to have those guys back fit and firing… it was fantastic to see him (Pattinson) playing Test cricket again. Having his body let him down and to come back and play Test cricket again was pretty special.

On the other hand, Peter Siddle also made an impressive Test return. Siddle also took two wickets in the first innings but he didn’t have the rub of the green on his side in the second innings. The veteran pacer bowled well but missed the outside edge on multiple occasions. Furthermore, he scored a crucial knock of 44 runs in the first dig.

“He’s someone who Josh and I have grown up playing with and against, it was great to see him out there. ‘Siddle’ has done the hard work and made it back. I think that’s really exciting from a bowling point of view, that we’re all a really close set of mates. To see your mates work it back and pull on the Baggy Green again and perform so well in the Test match, that’s exciting for us,” Starc noted.

The second Ashes Test match will take place at Lord’s from August 14.