Mitchell Starc's brutal mockery of 'horrible' Shane Warne criticism

Mitchell Starc, pictured here in action during the second Ashes Test.
Mitchell Starc responded perfectly to Shane Warne's criticism. Image: Getty

Mitchell Starc stood up when Australia needed him most in the second Ashes Test, making a mockery of Shane Warne's calls to drop him from the national side.

Warne has been one of Starc's harshest critics over the years and called for him to be replaced by Jhye Richardson for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

CLASS: Steve Smith's gesture for Joe Root after Ashes humiliation

'THERE'S NO WAY': Aussies dudded in 'ridiculous' Ashes farce

Starc responded by taking a wicket with the very first ball of the series on his way to collecting three dismissals at the Gabba.

Australia then needed Starc to step up and lead the attack in the absence of the injured Josh Hazlewood and Covid close contact Pat Cummins at the Adelaide Oval.

Without his fellow pace stars, Starc made a point of taking the reins in his team's 275-run win.

The last time the left-armer played without both fellow members of his fast-bowling cartel, he took just four wickets at 44.25 on a two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Granted, Adelaide Oval with his favoured pink ball is far more friendly for Starc, but the past week has been close to his best in a Baggy Green.

The 31-year-old has had games where he has taken more wickets for Australia, but rarely has his role ever been so important.

In the first innings he was the man to help break England's back with his 4-37.

His effort to get rid of Dawid Malan for 80 stopped the tourists fighting back into the game after a wicketless first session on day three.

That scalp went with those of Rory Burns and Jos Buttler, after Starc toyed with the latter before nicking him off for a 15-ball duck.

"It was a little bit different for Nathan and I," Starc admitted on Saturday.

"We probably searched a little bit for wickets (in the opening hours of day three).

"Nathan and I probably took it on a little bit on ourselves being the two experienced ones in the attack (to fix that)."

Mitchell Starc, pictured here after the wicket of Ollie Pope on the final day of the second Ashes Test.
Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of Ollie Pope on the final day of the second Ashes Test. (Photo by BRENTON EDWARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc's perfect response to Shane Warne criticism

Then on Sunday night and Monday afternoon he landed the killer blows again, dismissing Joe Root in a brutal end to day four.

And when he got Ollie Pope in the third over of day five, it should have been enough to open the door to victory until England lingered to within 21 overs of saving the Test.

While Starc's wickets were crucial, so too is the fact he barely had a loose over in a game where there has been a responsibility to keep the pressure on.

"It's the best I have seen him bowl for a while," stand-in skipper Steve Smith said after the win.

"He summed up the conditions really well, he realised it wasn't swinging and he was just able to hit a really nice line and he did it all game.

"He took complete control. He led the attack really well and I'm really pleased for him and the rest of the bowling group as well."

In fairness to Warne, Richardson played a starring role in Adelaide, taking his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket in the second innings.

However his comments about Starc didn't exactly hit the mark.

“He’s bowling mid 130’s & not swinging it. He averaged 70 per wicket last summer to the top 6," Warne said before the series.

“Plus his recent WC form was horrible. He went for 60 runs in 4 overs. Richardson must play.”

Fair to say Starc has responded to Warne's criticism in the best way possible.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.