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Australia's Starc ready for heavier workload in Bengaluru

Cricket - India v Australia - First Test cricket match - Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India - 24/02/17. Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of India's captain Virat Kohli. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files
Cricket - India v Australia - First Test cricket match - Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India - 24/02/17. Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of India's captain Virat Kohli. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Australia paceman Mitchell Starc is bracing for a heavier workload in the second test against India having hardly broken a sweat in his team's romp in the series opener in Pune.

With spin twins Steve O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon claiming 17 of the 20 Indian wickets, Starc and pace colleague Josh Hazlewood bowled a combined 20 overs as Australia triumphed by 333 runs inside three days to go 1-0 up in the four-test series.

"It's amazing. I think it's making up for the summer Josh and I had," Starc told reporters on Tuesday.

"The spinners bowled really well and the pitch didn't have much in it for Josh and me. There was very minimal natural swing because it was so abrasive and it didn't really go too much reverse.

"But when Steve's taking that many wickets and Nathan's bowling really well there's not really much need for us on that wicket."

World number one India were all out for 105 in the first innings and managed only two more in the second before succumbing to a crushing defeat that snapped their 19-test unbeaten streak.

With the smarting hosts unlikely to repeat the mistake of rolling out another turning track at Bengaluru, Starc reckoned he and Hazlewood would have to shoulder more responsibility in the match starting on Saturday.

"I'm sure it will be a pretty dry wicket again, so that'll probably help reverse swing there and it's something we'll be working hard at all the time in the nets," said the 27-year-old.

"It's about looking after that shine on an abrasive square. And if it's not going to spin as much in Bangalore, we're going to have to make sure we're using that reverse swing to make up for not as much spin as we've seen here in Pune."

Starc did not hide his glee at having silenced those who had predicted a 4-0 whitewash for his team though he refused to get totally carried away.

"To shut a few people up and really show that this young team is here to play has been great for the group. But it's one test win, it's not a series win yet so we'll be doing all we can," he added.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Alison Williams)

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