Mitchell Starc was Australia’s wrecker-in-chief on the first day of the Australia vs South Africa Test match at the WACA in Perth, picking up four scalps on a lively track that offered plenty of pace and bounce for the faster bowlers. It was a day dominated completely by the Australians as they finished in a commanding position at 105 for no loss, after dismissing the Proteas for 242, with David Warner scoring a quick-fire half-century.
Speaking at a press conference after the day’s play, Starc expressed his delight on getting to bowl on a helpful WACA pitch, saying, “There was a bit in it for bowlers throughout the day. We even saw a couple jump off newish cracks towards the end. At the same time, a really fast outfield and a nice wicket if batsmen get in.”
Comparing the conditions to those in Sri Lanka, where the Aussies were handed a clean sweep in the Test series, Starc, who finished with 24 wickets in that series, said, “It's a lot nicer to bowl on than Sri Lanka, that's for sure. All you're after is an even contest between bat and ball, and there was something in it throughout the day. If you put the ball in the right areas and made the batsmen play, your catchers were always in the game.”
He further added, “At the same time, if batsmen get in and want to take the game on like Davey did tonight, there's plenty of runs out there. You couldn't ask for more from the opening day of the summer.”
The Aussies were electric in the field today, as they made the Proteas work for each run. The catching was also outstanding with Mitchell Marsh completing a wonderful flying catch at gully off Starc’s bowling to dismiss Stephen Cook and his brother Shaun Marsh taking a blinder at short-leg off Nathan Lyon to get rid of a well-set Temba Bavuma.
Speaking of the fielding efforts, Starc said, "We always put a lot of work into that, and to hang onto some tough chances from the very first over probably lifted the boys a bit as well.”
The day ended with David Warner's explosive innings, and Starc was full of praise for his teammate. "The way he can change the game with his little flourish of runs is where he does so well for us," Starc said. "To be none for 100 with Shaun Marsh building a solid partnership with Davey is fantastic for the team.”