AAP Rugby

Starc sends emphatic message to selectors

By AAP Newswire

Mitchell Starc sent an emphatic message to Australian selectors with another four wickets to put NSW on the verge of a Sheffield Shield victory over Tasmania.

Fresh from claiming five scalps in the first innings, Starc bowled with pace and control in the second to have figures of 4-20 at stumps and within touch of a 10-wicket haul.

The left-armer's menacing bowling from around the wicket left Tasmania clinging to life at 9-132 at stumps on day three, leading by just 36 runs.

Overlooked for all but one of the five Ashes Tests in England, Starc is now almost certain to reclaim his spot from Peter Siddle for next month's first Test against Pakistan.

"I'm not a selector but I see no reason why he's not there in the first Test match," star teammate Steve Smith said.

"I think he knows the reasons why he didn't play in England conditions wise.

"But I think when you're looking at Australia with the wickets here air speed is a big one and he's got a terrific record in Australia."

In a miserly 19 overs on a slow wicket, Starc first had Alex Doolan caught at point for seven in his third over, before trapping Jordan Silk lbw on the back foot for 28.

His spell late in the day was peak Starc. He knocked over Alex Pyecroft with a yorker and then had the ball reversing to remove Sam Rainbird.

It comes after he battled for rhythm in his Shield return against Queensland last week.

But Smith said he'd seen a switch flick in the 29-year-old in training since.

"I think he struggled a little bit last week getting some rhythm, just coming back after a bowling with a Dukes ball, bowling with a Kookaburra for the first time," Smith said.

"He said that to me and I could see the net we had two days before the game, I was facing him in the nets and things didn't feel quite right.

"When I left I could just see a difference, I could see it in his run up and it clicked."

Sean Abbott (2-26) also picked up the key wickets of Tim Paine and Matthew Wade, with the latter offering Tasmania's only real resistance with 40.

It comes after Moises Henriques and Smith gave NSW the advantage on day two, both scoring hundreds in their total of 364.

Young Tasmanian quick Riley Meredith (5-98) dismissed them both on Sunday morning as part of his first five-wicket haul.

Meanwhile Test aspirant Kurtis Patterson (16no) continues to battle a quad injury, forced to bat at No.11 with a runner for NSW and not fielding.