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Phil Jaques believes it’s time for harsh critics to lay off Mitchell Starc

Former Australian Test cricketer and New South Wales coach Phil Jaques has called for critics to lay off Mitchell Starc in the wake of claims he is ‘rocks and diamonds’.

Starc made his return to the Test arena in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford after being overlooked for the opening three matches of the series due to concerns over his form with the ball.

The 29-year-old who will play a big role for the tourists on day three bowled two overs without a conceding a run late on day two, but it was with the bat where he had an instant impact whacking an unbeaten 54* from 58 balls.

Jaques told Macquarie Sports Radio Halftime Starc is a world class performer at his best and criticism of the paceman isn’t warranted.

“I think it is a bit (harsh),” Jaques said.

“He’s a fantastic player with a great record and over 200 Test wickets, you don’t get that by dumb luck.

“He’s a class performer, yes at times he can lose his radar a little bit with the new ball but I think in general what you get from Mitchell Starc is an aggressive bowler who can get you a few wickets early while swinging the ball and then he cleans up the tail better than anyone in world cricket.

“I think he’s going to be a handful on this wicket and I’d love to see him bowl with the control we all know he can and swing the ball around corners like we know he can.”

Australia are in a commanding position to retain the Ashes after declaring at 8/497 on the back of a double hundred from Steve Smith and England finishing the day at 1/23.

Day three of the fourth Ashes Test begins at 8pm AEST tonight.

Starc has played 51 Tests for Australia and taken 211 wickets at an average of 28.2 with best match figures of 11/94.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.