Australia's ODI skipper Pat Cummins has revealed he will be handing over the new ball to Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood against England in the first ODI. The team came under question after Starc was benched for their final World T20 game but Cummins has reasserted Starc's importance in the side.
Pat Cummins is all set to begin a new era in Australia's ODI history after taking over as captain from long-time skipper Aaron Finch post the batter's retirement. Cummins' first assignment itself is a challenging one, tasked with taking on the newly crowned World T20 champions England in a three-match series at home. The Kangaroos have named a full-strength side for the affair as their attention now turns to the World Cup next year in India.
A major talking point ahead of the opener in Adelaide on Thursday was how the new captain will handle bowling duties, especially given the way Starc was treated at the recently concluded marquee event. Largely recognized as the team's best white-ball bowler, Starc was dropped from the lineup for the side's final Super 12 fixture against Afghanistan which eventually led to elimination. However, Cummins has clarified that no such thing will happen under his charge and the 32-year-old will be handed the new ball right away.
"Mitchell Starc will definitely take the new ball, and probably Joshy as well," Cummins was quoted saying by cricket.com.au.
The quick's exclusion against Afghanistan was put down to the match-ups the team had come up with, concluding Kane Richardson would be a better option.
"I think in T20, you get really specific around match-ups and bowling distribution. Here it's a bit more of a gut feel and hopefully, he (Starc) can take the new ball, swing it around, and he has a few more overs to play with as well," Cummins explained.
Starc has 206 ODI wickets to his name at a fantastic average of 22.22 and was a major driving force behind the team's triumph at the World Cup in 2015.
He's all good, Starcy. He's great around the side as he always is, really positive. Hopefully he knows his value to us as he's been fantastic, especially in one-day cricket. The last two (50-over) World Cups, he's been close to player of the tournament in both of them, so he's a huge player for us. And we've got 15 Test matches which I'm sure he'll be involved in just about every single one of them," the skipper concluded on the matter.