Mitchell Starc became just the fifth Australian to take 350 Test wickets on Thursday, but he and Josh Hazlewood let their frustrations show as the West Indies fought back in the second Test. Starc ripped through the Windies top order with three wickets in the first session, leaving the tourists reeling at 5-64.
In the process he claimed his 350th Test wicket, becoming just the fifth Australian and 27th bowler from all countries to achieve the feat. He is also just the third left-arm paceman to take 350 wickets, joining Wasim Akram (414) and Chaminda Vaas (355).
'CAN'T BE SERIOUS': Ricky Ponting stuns fans with commentary moment
'EMBARRASSING': Cricket fans shred bizarre detail in BBL final presentation
The 33-year-old reached the milestone when he had Alick Athanaze caught behind by Alex Carey for his second wicket of the day. He had earlier picked up opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul for 21, caught at second slip by Steve Smith.
Starc finished with 4-68 on the opening day at the Gabba after removing Justin Greaves (six) and Kavem Hodge (71). He ended the day's play on 352 career wickets, putting him on the cusp of passing Dennis Lillee (355) to move into fourth all-time among Australian bowlers. Shane Warne took 708 for his career, while Glenn McGrath snared 563 and Nathan Lyon had 513 at stumps (and counting).
"He's not underrated, but he probably doesn't get the plaudits of some of the other fast bowlers around the world," Test great Mark Waugh said of Starc on Fox Cricket. "He's right up there. He's just a genuine wicket-taker, Mitchell Starc, in all formats."
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 25, 2024
Starc continued his mastery of pink-ball Test matches, with 65 wickets in 12 games at an average of just 18 at the end of Thursday's play. However he and Josh Hazlewood became visibly frustrated when the ball softened earlier than normal and batting became much easier for the Windies.
Hodge and Josh Da Silva managed to put on 149 for the seventh wicket, making 71 and 79 respectively. It marked the highest partnership ever against Australia in a day-night Test.
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood let their frustrations show
Lyon finally managed to snare the wicket of Da Silva lbw, before Starc came back into the attack to get Hodge caught by Smith at slip once again. But bowlers Alzarri Joseph (32) and Kevin Sinclair (16 not out) managed to frustrate the Aussies even further with a handy partnership of 41, with Joseph landing some lusty blows against Starc and Hazlewood.
The Aussie bowlers let their frustrations show, with Starc doing some verbal sparring with Joseph, before Hazlewood gave him a spray when he finally dismissed him with what turned out to be the final ball of the day. After getting Joseph to nick another catch to Smith at slip, Hazlewood gave his opponent an angry send-off as he ran past him.
Josh Hazlewood gets the wicket of Alzarri Joseph in the last over of the night.
📺 WATCH #AUSvWI on Ch. 501 or stream via @kayosports https://t.co/BtKGJLI8RP
📝 BLOG https://t.co/P6sokOOT2G
📲 MATCH CENTRE https://t.co/P2cWnKALvt pic.twitter.com/F1B8HcEwEt
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 25, 2024
Cricket fans didn't take kindly to the actions of the Aussie bowlers on social media. "Hazlewood and Starc carry on like pork chops. Poor bowling and sportsmanship to finish a great first day," one person wrote.
Another added: "Hazlewood giving a mouthful to Alzarri after being smashed at a strike rate of 150. Classy." While a third commented: "Starc abusing the West Indies No.9 as he gets carted all around the ground. Highly embarrassing. Then Hazlewood gives Joseph a big send off."
Fantastic fight back from this West Indies team that was down and out. Gutter cricket from the Aussies, frustrated late and resorting to sledging and insults.
Rubbish from Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc late. #AUSvWI
— Dana White from Wish (@WishDanaWhite) January 25, 2024
Hazlewood giving a mouthful to Alzarri after being smashed at a strike rate of 150. Classy.
— Anuj Nitin Prabhu (@APTalksCricket) January 25, 2024
Starc and Hazlewood must have been tired. Isn't that the reason why children get grumpy? 🤔🤣 Give them a fruit box & a nap & they might grow up to be strong and classy like their skipper. First hard day's work of the summer 😅 #AUSvsWI
— Simon (@simon_jinks) January 25, 2024
Did Hazlewood just give the lad some chat? Na mate.
— Ben (@benno_76) January 25, 2024
Mitchell Starc not happy with softness of pink balls
The Windies went to stumps at 8-266, with Starc bemoaning the tendency for pink balls to go soft on abrasive pitches. "We know the ball goes soft at certain stages depending on the wicket," Starc said. "I think is pretty similar to the game where we played Pakistan (in 2016) where the pink ball went soft very early.
"There wasn't much in it for the bowlers. It feels like a similar wicket where it is too firm for the pink ball. I think it would be a fantastic red-ball wicket, but probably too firm for the pink ball."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.