New law risks making cricket boring: Starc

Australia's Mitchell Starc believes any rule to ban the use of saliva on balls will help batters.
Australia's Mitchell Starc believes any rule to ban the use of saliva on balls will help batters.

Mitchell Starc is keen to test Virat Kohli's team with the pink ball, having also urged curators and administrators to ensure cricket doesn't become a batsman-dominated bore.

There were fears this summer's much-anticipated showdown between Australia and India, widely regarded as the two best Test teams in the world, could be scrapped because of COVID-19.

Cricket Australia is increasingly confident that series will proceed, but uncertainty still clouds the logistics and laws involved.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to soon rubber stump a ban on using saliva to shine the ball.

Starc is particularly concerned about the impact of the restriction in Australia and is eager for an even challenge between bat and ball.

"Otherwise people are going to stop watching and kids aren't going to want to be bowlers," he said.

"As we saw in Australia the last few years, there are some pretty flat wickets and if that ball is going straight it's a pretty boring contest.

"Maybe they instruct people to leave more grass on the wicket to have that contest ... (or) Kookaburra have been developing a shining wax."

ICC cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble suggested using artificial wax would fly in the face of a recent crackdown on ball tampering.

"Whether that can be controlled by the umpires, they have a portion of the wax and you can only use a small amount, I don't know," " Starc said.

Australia coach Justin Langer will on Wednesday have a Zoom session with Starc and his national teammates, who returned from leave this week as they prepare for a rare block of pre-season training.

Australia's return from the coronavirus stoppage is expected to be an ODI tour of England in September.

The home Test series against India, likely to include a pink-ball game at Adelaide Oval, then looms large.

Starc rejected the notion he is a day-night cynic, noting there is a better balance between bat and ball compared to regular Tests.

"The fans love it," he said.

"We do have a good record at home with the pink ball."

The fast bowler hoped there would be no repeat of the "extremely slow and pretty flat wickets" of 2019-20, adding "it'd be great to see bowlers come back into the contest a bit more".

Australian Associated Press