Melourne: Dynamic opening batsman David Warner Friday said Australian pacers Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc will star for the co-hosts and will be crucial for the country's World Cup campaign.
Speaking with cricket.com.au ahead of Saturday’s opener against England, Warner identified a pair of left-arm quicks when asked who he considered were the players to watch for Australia.
“I’ll give you two,” Warner said.
“I think Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc are going to be the keys for us. It’s easy to say there’s a lot of batsmen to watch, but I think those two guys hold the key for our team.”
On current evidence, Warner’s selections are understandable, with Johnson the reigning ICC Cricketer of the Year and Starc having just been named the Player of the Tournament in the recent ODI tri-series against England and India.
Johnson now sits fourth on the all-time ODI wickets list for left-arm quicks, with 224 from 145 matches.
Starc has collected 61 wickets in his 33 ODIs, and despite sitting 20th on that same list, boasts a better average (21.27) and strike-rate (25.5) than anyone above him.
Johnson is currently ranked fifth in the ICC ODI rankings, while Starc sits in seventh spot.
"If I was to say a batsman I’d say AB de Villiers (as the opposition player to watch)," he added.
“He’s fantastic in all conditions, he’s a world-class player. Bowling wise, I think there’s a lot of good talent out here … someone like Dale Steyn is always pretty handy.
“South Africa’s a great team all round - I see them as the benchmark to try and knock off."