Intensity returns as hosts beat up battle-scarred tourists

Australia's Mitchell Starc.
Australia's Mitchell Starc.
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Mitchell Starc believes Australia’s Tri-Series victory over England can help “reopen a few scars” from last winter’s miserable Ashes tour.

England were whitewashed in the 2013-14 Test series and also lost both limited-overs legs, and left Australia humiliated and downtrodden.

A year later they are back Down Under for a three-way one-day contest, which also involves India, before the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Their time away got off to a 
familiar start at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where the home side claimed a three-wicket victory with a massive 61 balls to spare.

Former Yorkshire bowler Starc may not have had a big part to play in England’s previous woes, but he started the rot this time by dismissing Ian Bell and James Taylor for ducks in the first over of the day.

“Hopefully, we reopened a few scars here,” said the left-arm paceman.

“They’re going to have to be out here for a few months now with this Tri-Series and the World Cup so there’s no better way to kick off our campaign than getting one above them.

“I think we played really well with bat and ball, showed great intensity, and the only way to go is to try and improve on that.”

Starc, who finished with 4-42, took man-of-the-match honours off Eoin Morgan and David Warner, who made 121 and 127 respectively.

His speed helped rout England’s top order and with Pat Cummins and the rested Mitchell Johnson also capable of serious pace, Starc feels that could be a key difference between the sides.

“I guess blokes bowling at 140-145kmph (87-90mph) plus is handy. It has that intimidation factor towards some of the batsmen,” he said.

“It’s also about execution but having that pace is good. Pat bowled a few at 150kmph (yesterday) and we obviously have Mitch coming back in at some point bowling rapid as well. It’s a great combination.”

Morgan excelled with the bat on his bow as England’s permanent one-day captain, his century lifting the tourists towards respectability after slumping to 33-4. But the comprehensive defeat, which saw Australia claim a bonus point, meant he struggled to enjoy the moment.

“Overall I’m really disappointed,” he said.

“We came into the game with a lot of good preparation under our belt and within the side we would have had a lot of expectation on ourselves, so we have a lot of disappointed guys. Simply, we weren’t good enough to adapt the wicket and play accordingly.

“They bowled well up front, but nothing that we shouldn’t be capable of dealing with.”

England fly to Brisbane today before taking on the Indians on Tuesday.