London: Mitchell Starc has warned England's batsmen there will be no place to hide when Australia's pacemen turn up the heat for the start of the Ashes series in Cardiff.
Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of Joe Root during the 2013 Ashes Test in Nottingham. Pic/Getty Images
The 25-year-old left-armer claimed nine wickets in the final warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford, improving after a slow start on his first outing in England this tour.
With Ryan Harris having announced his retirement because of injury, Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood — who took four for 42 in Essex's second innings on Saturday — and Starc will help provide the ammunition aimed to unsettle England's openers.
It is a role the one-time Yorkshire player is more than happy to fulfil. "Having some guys who can bowl some good heat — and we can swing it — it is always good to see those batsmen jumping around and making life hard for them," said Starc, who had a brief spell with the English county during 2012.
'There's no respite'
"When you have a few guys who can consistently bowl over 140kph (87mph), that is great to have because there is no respite.
"We will have Mitch Johnson coming in, who has terrorised England in Australia, then Josh and I are following on and can hopefully both push it up a decent pace as well."
Starc feels in a good place as he aims to secure Australia a first Ashes win in England for more than a decade.
"I have probably gained a yard or two but for me it is that consistency, which is what I was questioned about for a long time and tried to find," he said.
"There is that confidence in myself now that in a pretty dead, lifeless wicket I can produce consistently. Now over the last six months, it is really getting to the point where it needs to be in terms of being able to swing the ball for a while.
"It is all merging into one and I am starting to see results."