Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc
Pat Cummins (L) and Mitchell Starc (AFP Photo)

The form of Mitchell Starc is a hot topic of debate in Australian cricketing circuit. Often, he has been at the receiving end of criticism at the hands of former cricketers due to his wayward bowling and lack of wickets in the past year or so. (ALSO READ: Langer throws his weight behind struggling Starc, Khawaja)

In the home series against India, he managed 13 wickets at 34.53 across four Tests. In the first Test against Sri Lanka, which Australia won inside three days, he picked up just two wickets that too in the first innings.

On the other hand, Pat Cummins has been enjoying a dream run as he returned career-best 6/23 in the second innings at Brisbane to roll over Sri Lanka for 139.

However, he has backed his senior mate saying Starc isn’t far away from his best and that his raw pace continues to be top-notch.

“The good thing is he is bowling really fast,” Cummins was quoted as saying by The Age on Monday. “His rhythm is mostly there. I know he has tried to change a couple of things in his run-up and trying to get his feet aligned but he is not far away. You always feel he is going to break open the game at any point. I would love him to take a couple of wickets and click. You always rally around each other … we’ll get around him but he’s not far away.”

There have been suggestions of taking the new ball duties away from Starc and instead handing them over to in-form Cummins. However, the 25-year-old feels that there’s no need for that as Australia’ new-ball bowlers have been on the mark even during the four-Test series against India which they lost 1-2.

“I feel like our new-ball bowlers have always done a really good job. When Starcy is on you just feel like he is going to rip through. You saw him against India, both their openers got dropped because we started off really well with the new ball. I am itching to get the ball in my hand but I am happy to wait a few overs,” Cummins said.

The second and final Test of the ongoing two-match series against Sri Lanka will be played at the Manuka Oval which will be hosting its first ever such contest. While The Gabba offered significant bounce, Canberra is expected to present a different challenge.

Cummins predicts reverse swing will come into play. “We played a Shield game there earlier this year [vs Western Australia] and it was a pretty good wicket but probably more reverse than traditional swing. Not too many of their batsmen got going and I feel like our batters got a good hit-out there and we bowled well,” he said.