Starc, Johnson lethal double act puts Aussies on top

Australia's Mitchell Johnson celebrates after he got the wicket of New Zealand's Ross Taylor in Brisbane on Friday.

Australia’s Mitchell Johnson celebrates after he got the wicket of New Zealand’s Ross Taylor in Brisbane on Friday.

Australia’s lethal left-arm double act Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson showed how devastating they can be in the series after bowling the home side into a strong position after just two days of the first Test against New Zealand.

Starc and Johnson took two wickets each as the Black Caps battled to survive at 157 for five in reply to Australia’s massive 556 for four declared.

It was the first outing for the pace pair this southern summer and they didn’t disappoint with fearsome spells to unhinge the Kiwi batting, taking 4-16 in a 25-ball spell.

“I take a bit of confidence from how I’ve gone the past 12 months, regardless of the color of the ball,” Starc told reporters after Friday’s play.

“To bowl the way I did today, particularly after last year, was fantastic. It was a great spell by Mitchell Johnson to bowl fast and aggressive.”

He said it was key for them to bowl well together in the last session, and he was happy with their performance.

“We were allowed to be aggressive because we had 550 runs on the board and to bowl well after tea, dry up the runs, create chances and take five wickets was a great job.”

Starc is part of a three-man pace attack with Johnson and Josh Hazlewood and gave an early sign of how big a handful they will prove for New Zealand in the remainder of the three-Test series.

“It’s great to watch and great to be in the same team as him (Johnson). It’s not great to face him in the nets, that’s for sure.

“He’s the leader of the attack, bowling fantastically, bowling with great aggression, pace and bounce.”

He added that it was a pleasure to watch Johnson bowl, calling him an enforcer.

“It’s great to be in the same team and bowl in partnerships with him. Hopefully, he can keep going for a lot longer.”


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