Australia's 4 hitmen eye one last WACA tilt | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 08, 2017

Australia's 4 hitmen eye one last WACA tilt

WACA, the iconic cricket stadium in Perth where fast bowlers have been haunting batsmen for decades, will host its last Test when a confident Australia look to seal the Ashes rubber when they take on England in the third Test next week. 

Apart from being 2-0 up in the series, four reasons for Australian confidence were occupying row 13 of flight QF 740 from Adelaide to Sydney on Thursday with quicks Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins on one side of the aisle and off-spinner Nathan "Gazza" Lyon on the other.

"I think the exciting thing is our bowling group can only get better," Starc told reporters on arrival at Sydney airport.

"Obviously we've taken 40 wickets over the last couple of weeks and done some really good things but there's still room for improvement."

Starc took 5-88 after mopping up the England tail with the new pink ball on Wednesday, while Hazlewood snuffed out hopes of an England win with two wickets, including that of captain Joe root, in the first three overs of the day.

Cummins crucially pegged the English back with the wicket of Dawid Malan on Wednesday night, while Lyon is the leading wicket taker in Tests this year and his captain described his bowling in Adelaide as "exceptional".

"Paddy, Josh and I have grown up together -- Gazza's a bit older -- we've been around each other for a long time and we're really close mates," Starc added.

"I think that shows in the way we play our cricket and we're gelling really nicely and complementing each other really well.

"Gazza's bowling the house down at the moment and that allows the other three of us to just do what we do at the other end. Josh does what he does and allows Pat and I to bowl as fast as we want."

Smith said he was keen for his bowlers and batsmen to get some rest before the Perth test starts next Thursday.

The Test will be the last at the WACA and Starc said he was hoping to be presented with a bowling surface that harked back to the days when the likes of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson terrorised English batsmen in Perth.

"Hopefully we see a nice fast, bouncy wicket, the WACA of old, and get stuck into that as a bowling group," he said.

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