Australia vs Sri Lanka 2019: Mitchell Starc passes 200 Test wickets
Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc has passed 200 Test wickets on the first day of the first Day-Night Test Match, versus Sri Lanka, at the Gabba. Dilruwan Perera was the victim as Marnus Labuschagne took the catch. Having won the toss and batted, Sri Lanka were soon in trouble as debutant Jhye Richardson caused plenty of problems. He took three wickets before Australia's senior pace bowler achieved his milestone.
Starc's form has been below his usual standards since the debacle in Cape Town last March. Even today, Starc looked below par until the wicket of Perera. Starc soon followed up with the wicket of Suranga Lakmal, again care of Labuschagne's safe pair of hands, to move on to 201 Test victims. With Sri Lanka's batters struggling to cope with the conditions in Brisbane, Starc will be looking to improve on his bowling figures in the second innings.
Starc's 201 victims have come at a strike rate of 51.00 which takes him to the top of Australia's Test bowlers, with more than 200 wickets, above Mitchell Johnson (51.01). Starc's strike rate is considerably below South African Dale Steyn's SR of 42.10. In addition, Vernon Philander's 48.80 is also superior.
Sri Lanka have found the extra bounce at the Gabba difficult to handle and the Australian bowlers have been bowling in good areas. Richardson, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have all taken wickets to put the home side in control. Sri Lanka need some late order runs, under the lights, to give themselves a total to bowl against.
The pink ball, under the lights, may worsen the batting conditions. The game is already looking like it won't go the full distance over the Australia Day public holiday weekend.