Mitchell Starc remains a key figure in the Australian pace attack. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Mitchell Starc remains a key figure in the Australian pace attack. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

Lee: Cummins should lead attack against West Indies

BRETT Lee says it is time to put "a little bit of pressure" on Mitchell Starc by making Patrick Cummins the No. 1 man and giving him first choice of bowling ends.

But Lee warned the Aussies against talking down their chances of swinging the new ball after Cummins and coach Justin Langer said last week their data showed there was none available in England.

"That myth that it doesn't swing over here, I'm not buying into that," 2003 World Cup hero Lee told News Corp.

"I know that Pat Cummins can swing the ball and I know that Mitchell Starc is good enough to swing the ball.

"What I wouldn't be saying if I am an Australian player is we are not going to get swing.

"Because if you tell yourself you're not going to get any swing then you're no chance when you go out there and play.

"I think it will swing in England, definitely. You saw the way Trent Boult bowled the other day and he got (four) wickets (in a warm-up match) - if Trent Boult swung the ball why can't the Aussies?"

Cummins and Starc will target West Indies with a series of short balls as both teams chase a 2-0 start in Nottingham on Thursday.

Mitchell Starc was the player of the tournament in 2015 and is still a constant wicket threat.
Mitchell Starc was the player of the tournament in 2015 and is still a constant wicket threat.

Cummins still doesn't open the bowling in Test cricket and only started taking one of the new balls in ODIs six games ago.

Before that Cummins bowled first change with Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile preferred.

Cummins and Starc both struck in their first few balls on Saturday to remove Afghanistan's openers for a pair of ducks. Starc sent down the first over, bowling from the favoured end.

"I would give Pat Cummins the brand new ball - and when I say the brand new ball, he'll get the choice of ends," Lee said.

"Give Mitchell Starc (the other end), because I also want to put a little bit of pressure on him. He's the senior bowler, and I know under pressure he is such a good bowler.

"I'm a big fan of Mitchell Starc, and I make that very clear. I do believe he can hoop the ball back in and if he hoops the ball back in he will be absolutely deadly in this World Cup."

While so much focus has been on Australia's vulnerability at the death, Lee said that phase of bowling was closely linked to the success of Cummins and Starc in first 10 overs.

"If they can shape the ball and get that confidence (they'll be OK), whereas if they get pummelled in the first 10 overs that can affect the death bowling," Lee said.

"It goes hand-in-hand even though people don't understand that."

Lee also backed allrounder Marcus Stoinis as the Aussie to explode at the World Cup.

"He's dynamic with the bat, good in the field, he takes wickets, and he's got that presence and that aura about him, and that's what Australia is all about," he said.

News Corp Australia


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