Brisbane: Dec 1, 2011
Mitchell Starc will not forget his first day as an Australian Test cricketer Thursday, as he got his baggy green cap from legend Richie Benaud and took two New Zealand wickets at the Gabba.
The Black Caps needed an unbroken 80-run stand between former skipper Daniel Vettori and Dean Brownlie to rescue a shaky start and have their team 176 for five at the end of an opening day cut short by rain.
Starc, the 21-year-old New South Wales left-armer, one of three Australians on their debut, claimed the scalps of dashing opener Brendon McCullum and hit-or-miss Jesse Ryder to have the Kiwis 96 for five shortly after lunch.
But Starc, who along with James Pattinson is part of Australia's most inexperienced pace attack for nearly three decades, stepped up to the challenge to finish his first day in Test cricket two for 52 off 13 overs.
"It is a day I'll never forget. Just to get that baggy green (cap) is a pretty proud moment for me and to get a couple of wickets as well is fantastic," Starc said.
Starc, who took up bowling six years ago after starting as a fledgling wicketkeeper, was swooning to receive his first baggy green cap from former Test skipper and iconic broadcaster Benaud on the field before play started.
"It was a special moment for me and I won't forget that moment for the rest of my life," Starc said.
"He (Benaud) just said a few things that over the last few years he's been watching me and I actually sat on a plane on the way home with him after an ODI (one dayer) I played here last year.
"It wasn't a big conversation (with Benaud) but a few little things were said there."
In an age of in-your-face aggressive fast bowlers, Starc is an exception, saying he wants his performances to do his talking.
"I feel like my bowling has been good for the last few weeks and I've just got to keep working on that consistency to get that ball swinging and to see it doing that today was fantastic," he said.
"I'm not the loudest bloke on the field, but they say fast bowlers are all a little bit aggressive in that respect. I didn't say anything out there too much at all so I just tried to let the performances do the talking themselves."
But Starc was pleased by his opening day's efforts, with work still to be done to wrap up the Kiwi first innings.
"They batted quite well and Vettori has scored a lot of runs in his career and they're (plus Brownlie) both good players," he said.
"We're going to have to sit down and think about our plans for tomorrow and get amongst them early and get into that long tail they have with Vettori batting at seven." (AFP)