Starc has a dig at Arthur

Test cricket

Ahead of the first Test between Australia and Pakistan at the Gabba in the coming week the inevitable mind games and subtle digs via the media have begun.

Current Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was Australia coach Darren Lehmann’s predecessor but his appointment to that role was one that had opponents from the very start with sections of the Australian press unhappy with the appointment of a South African as coach.

So it is hardly surprising that Arthur’s reign would be contrasted with Lehmann’s with Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Starc chipping in on the subject.

Starc struggled to cement his place in the team under Arthur but has since become arguably the best fast bowler in the world under Lehmann.

The quick said of Arthur’s reign: “I didn’t have too much time with him … he obviously had his different theories.

“Boof’s (Lehmann) obviously brought his own coaching theories and concepts.

“The group has obviously changed personnel-wise as well, so we’ve developed massively as a squad since the time of Mickey Arthur, and I think all for the better.”

Lehmann has been in charge of back to back Test series defeats something Arthur did not suffer during his spell at the helm of Australia but the former seems to be more popular with the players due to his different approach.

Starc went on: “One probably rode the game a little bit more and I think at times found it hard to watch.

“Whereas Boof instils a lot of confidence in you. He’s got that laid-back, old-school attitude but doesn’t sugar-coat anything. That’s what this young group needs as well … some hard truths sometimes.”

The paceman feels Arthur will have a lot of insight into Australian cricket and the conditions Pakistan are set to face.

He added:  “He’s been a coach of an Australian cricket team. He spent some time in domestic cricket in Australia.

“He’ll have a bit of knowledge around the Gabba and some of our players.”