Starc wants Australia quicks to exploit England's top-order inexperience

A repeat of Mitchell Johnson's 2013 heroics at the Gabba could be on the cards in the first Ashes Test, says Mitchell Starc.

Mitchell Starc is hopeful Australia's fast bowlers can capitalise on the concerns over England's top order during the first Test of the Ashes next month.   -  Getty Images

Mitchell Starc is hopeful Australia's fast bowlers can capitalise on the concerns over England's top order during the first Test of the Ashes next month.

Tom Westley and Dawid Malan secured their places in the England squad despite failing to convince against South Africa and West Indies, while James Vince and Gary Ballance have been recalled.

Starc hopes to exploit the tourist's struggles when the two teams meet at the Gabba on November 23, believing the uncertainty offers someone a chance to replicate Mitchell Johnson's nine-wicket haul on the same ground when Australia started the 2013-14 series with a crushing 381-run win.

"It's a very different Australian team and an opportunity for a few of the younger, less experienced guys to get on top of them much like Mitch did to some of their batsmen through that series," said the 27-year-old, who is set to return from a foot injury he aggravated at the ICC Champions Trophy during the JLT One-Day Cup before featuring in the Sheffield Shield.

"They've got [Joe] Root and [Alastair] Cook up the top who've played a lot of cricket and probably their main guys with the bat.

"The guys in the top order around them are pretty inexperienced and hopefully we can exploit that in our conditions and, if we can, really get on top of them in the first Test like Mitch did a couple of years ago.

"We've got a really solid attack who complement each other. If it's not me, you've got Pat Cummins who can bowl fast bouncers and Josh Hazlewood bowling consistent line and length.

"It'll be much like that attack did when Johnno took all those wickets, I think we complement each other really well.

"Throw in Jackson Bird and Nathan Coulter-Nile's back bowling really well, so five really good guys there and if Patto [James Pattinson] is fit to go, six."

Ben Stokes' spot was placed in doubt when he was suspended indefinitely by the England and Wales Cricket Board after being arrested and subsequently released without charge following an incident in Bristol.

The all-rounder is under investigation by Somerset and Avon Police on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

Starc believes the absence of Stokes would be a huge loss for England, though he is confident it could still pose a threat without him.

"He's a big part of their team and if he's on the plane we'll assess him, otherwise we don't need to worry about it," he said.

"I'm sure they can [compete without Stokes]. He probably makes their team a bit more balanced but he's not the be all and end all of their team. There's plenty of guys we need to worry about."

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