Premier Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc has said that he isn't willing to drop down in pace amidst regular fitness concerns and stated he would "rather bowl fast than safe and slow".
Starc's fitness has been a concern for a while for Australia and he is coming into this Test series in UAE, having recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the game since the end of the Test tour of South Africa earlier this year. Starc has an action which is mostly about his body strength. He bowls at over 85-90 mph and hence, his shoulders, back and his legs are easily vulnerable to injuries.
He has just recovered from a long lay-off and even contemplated employing a change to his bowling run-up which was designed to alleviate stress on his lower body but Starc abandoned it.
"I did tinker with a few things, not big changes. Just some little things to tidy up the action and try to make it a little safer," he told cricket.com.au, "I had some good discussions with physios and fast bowling coaches during my time off with injury – just to try little things that might help me down the track."
He further said, "I tried shortening my run-up a little bit (and) shortened my stride lengths to not be so long at the crease and be a little safer on my legs which I've had a few injuries with over the last few years. I didn't really like the feel of that (the shorter run-up), it wasn't really coming out very quickly so I quickly flicked (abandoned) that one." and added, "I'd rather bowl fast and be in danger of injury than be safe and bowl slow. I have had a few little changes to make sure my stride length is a little shorter, but I've gone back to the old run up."
Reflecting on his plans and preparation for the Test series against Pakistan, Starc says he would like to continue his benchmark for bowling in the subcontinent. His 24-wicket 2016 tour of Sri Lanka remains the greatest wicket haul by Aussie quick in a three-Test series in Asia.
"That Sri Lanka series is a blueprint I'd love to replicate and work off on any subcontinental tours," he said and added, "It's something I'll probably look at and try to take little things out of to take into this series on the subcontinent with where and how I bowled – the lengths and some reverse swing."
"In the UAE we'll use the Kookaburra ball like we did in Sri Lanka – hopefully we can get it moving around and I can get a few wickets and help the team out." he concluded.