Mitchell Starc spent little time worrying about his Test future after the Ashes, despite playing a minimal role for Australia in England.
Left-arm seamer Starc is playing in his 54th Test against Pakistan in Adelaide, yet his Ashes involvement was limited to the fourth match at Old Trafford, taking four wickets to help the visitors retain the urn.
The 29-year-old returned to star with seven wickets in the first-Test win over Pakistan and has impressed again this week, his match figures 7-76 at the end of day three.
Victory now appears a formality for Australia, and Starc said after Sunday’s play of his role: “It’s not really come into my thought process.
“Playing a bit of Shield cricket and the T20s [before the Pakistan series] was the focus to begin with, and [then to] see how the Shield games played out and if I was selected in the Test squad, then go from there.
“It was never really a worry or a focus. I was just looking forward to playing some games for New South Wales and playing some white-ball cricket.”
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 1, 2019
Yasir Shah made an unlikely 113 for Pakistan, but they were forced to follow on as Starc continues to excel with the pink ball, boosting his total in day-night Tests to a still world-best 33 wickets.
“I still think it’s more like a white ball than a red ball, so that’s probably playing in my favour there,” the bowler said.
“It still went soft for us on that wicket, as we saw through the early afternoon session today where it didn’t move around much at all and the wicket was quite flat.
“When it’s going through those stages, it’s trying to control the scoreboard. We did that fairly well at times and then Yasir got away from us a fair bit.”