Ashes: Mitchell Starc satisfied with Steve Smith's refusal to reinsert England

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Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates a dismissal in Adelaide

Adelaide, December 4: Mitchell Starc revealed Australia's bowlers had no say in the decision not to make England follow-on in Adelaide, but has high hopes that captain Steve Smith's call will be a winning one in the end.

Scorecard

Hales cleared

After bowling England out for 227 in response to the hosts' 442-8 declared in the maiden Ashes day-night Test, the tourists' attack finally found swinging conditions to their liking under the lights and reduced Australia to 53-4 at the close of play.

Though England ended the day buoyant, they remain 268 runs adrift of Australia, and will face a monumental batting challenge to avoid going 2-0 down in the series.

Joe Root's decision to bowl first at the toss was highly scrutinised, but Smith's refusal to go after an innings victory was similarly pored over, although Starc revealed the team were happy to follow their captain.

"It's purely up to the skipper and there was no conversations with the bowlers," Starc told BT Sport.

"There's pros and cons to both sides of the story: Our bowlers get a bit of a rest and can come out firing in the second innings but it's been tough work in the end and England bowled pretty well.

"It's up to Smithy, he's the captain and leads that way.

"As I said, a little bit of extra rest might allow us to bowl a bit quicker and take some big wickets in the day and into the night session and put England under the pump big time."

Starc added: "We've got a big lead ahead of us so, it's not ideal to go to stumps four down, but at the same time we're 260 ahead.

"England only faced 10 overs under lights and they've got two big night sessions ahead of them if they want to save this Test match, so I'd still rather be in our changing room compared to theirs."

England bowler James Anderson, meanwhile, admitted that even England were taken aback by their stunning bowling performance late in the third day of the second Ashes Test.

Anderson had Cameron Bancroft (4) and Usman Khawaja (20), and was aghast when Smith looked out on nought, only to be reprieved by DRS after England's leading wicket-taker pitched fractionally outside leg.

Chris Woakes did remove the Australia captain for six, however, as England ended a see-sawing day well on top.

"We weren't expecting as much swing as we got there," Anderson told BT Sport.

"Under the lights it did a lot more than we expected but even when it's doing the amount it did, you've still got to put it in the right areas.

"We learnt from the first innings, we didn't quite bowl full enough in the first innings. We made a point of trying to get it up there and find the edge, get the lbws, which we did.

"I think we deserved the four wickets today."

Despite a mostly chastening day, England left the field at stumps in high spirits, with Australia sending out Nathan Lyon as a nightwatchman and time-wasting at the end of play.

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Monday, December 4, 2017, 18:30 [IST]
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