Ricky Ponting believes Mitchell Starc could have made a difference at Leeds

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes having Mitchell Starc bowl at Ben Stokes during the final stages of the third Ashes Test at Leeds could have made a huge difference for Australia.

Starc has now been left out of Australia’s playing XI for three Tests in a row. Stokes and No.11 put on a stand of 76 runs to script one of the most memorable come-from-behind victories.

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“I must admit, as the game was sort of slipping away the other day the only image I had in my head was Starc bowling Stokes at The Oval in that World Cup with a yorker right at the base of off-stump,” Ponting was quoted as saying by www.cricket.com.au.

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“And even someone like (No.11) Jack Leach, I’m not sure he would have been that keen on facing Mitchell Starc at 150kph with the ball reversing back onto his toes either.”

However, Ponting did concede that it will be tough for Starc to break in to the XI for the reminder of the series owing to the fact that the three seamers who have played in the series so – Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle – have not done badly.

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“Cummins won’t be coming out of the side. I think if they look at making a change I think it will have to be Pattinson (who was rested for Lord’s) again,” he said, adding,”Hazlewood, with the exception of his spell with the second new ball in the second innings, I’m not sure I’ve seen him bowl better than that. That was outstanding from him.

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“Patto (Pattinson), as the game went on I thought he got better. When it looked like he had his rhythm I thought he was really good.

Ponting is hoping that the three-day warm-up game in Derby ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford Manchester will give a cleared picture, but even then the former skipper reckons, Starc will have to ‘bring the house down’ to force the selectors to change their mind.

“But I think they’ll see how (Starc) goes in Derby. If he doesn’t bowl the house down there I think they’ll be reluctant to make change,” he added.