Bowling coach Allan Donald is being welcomed with open arms in the Australia camp ahead of their Test series against Sri Lanka.
It’s been eight months since left-arm quick Mitchell Starc played a Test match, but he’s finally rearing to go after a severe injury to his right ankle kept him sidelined. After six weeks of complete rest in a moon boot, an intensive rehabilitation and strengthening programme, and careful pre-season preparations, Starc will lead the line for the first Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Ex-Proteas paceman Donald has been hard at work preparing him and Australia’s other fast bowlers to adapt to the subcontinent conditions, and Starc has been grateful for the graft he’s put in.
‘He has toured here maybe five or six times, more than any of the other bowlers (in the Australia squad),’ Starc said. ‘So it’s great to get his thoughts on reverse swing, swinging the new ball, and maybe some of the ways the Sri Lankan players have played in the past.’
Starc has worked closely with Donald in the past during their respective stints with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Donald replaced former Test quick Craig McDermott as the side’s bowling coach for the two-month tour, but isn’t expected to lengthen his stay with former England bowling coach David Saker moving in.
‘We’ve been working with Craig (McDermott) for a number of years now and to bring in AD (Donald) with a different set of eyes and a different set of theories it’s always nice to freshen things up and see what he’s got to offer on that topic as well.
‘As a bowling unit we want to take two or three wickets with that brand new ball and really get inroads into that middle order and expose them to our pace and our spinners. That’s going to be a big key, and we’ve spoken a lot about that,’ added Starc on their plans to dismantle the relatively inexperienced Sri Lankan batting lineup.
‘We all reverse the ball pretty well, it’s just about doing it more often and getting it in those right areas here in Sri Lanka where it’s going to be needed a lot more.’
Watch Donald’s interview with Cricket Australia here.
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