“Numbers are nice, [it’s] something else to reflect on when I’m all done. Still got some wickets to take,” Starc said. “Nice to have an impact today, go past that one…Gaz [Lyon] was saying there’s another 150 to go.
“They are all nice things to tick off and very humbling [to close in on Lillee] but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Need 20 wickets to win and we’ll all reflect on [the landmarks] when we are finished, sitting around with a beer at a golf course somewhere. At the moment we are just enjoying our cricket as a group of players.”
Early in the season, during the opening Test against Pakistan in Perth, Starc made some mid-match adjustments and said he had been searching for “that perfect feeling” throughout the summer. He was pleased with his rhythm and the pace he was able to generate on the opening day in Brisbane.
Three of Starc’s inroads came in the first session when Australia made good use of the new ball to leave West Indies 64 for 5. But life became tougher for the bowlers after that as the pink ball softened and it wasn’t until the second new ball that Starc struck again to remove Kavem Hodge.
Starc’s record with the pink ball is outstanding – he now has 65 wickets at 18.09 from 12 day-night Tests – and he has come to believe that the key to the format is the pitch and its impact on the ball. This Brisbane surface, he said, was a little on the firm side to be ideal, which meant the ball became soft within the first hour, whereas Adelaide, which traditionally hosts the day-night encounter in Australia, has a more forgiving pitch.
“It comes down to the wicket, which I think Adelaide has got right,” he said. “Because of the ball, we know it goes softer at certain stages depending on the wicket, think there’s a certain cushion to what they make at Adelaide, which is why it’s been such a good pink-ball Test in Adelaide.