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Australia told to get ugly with Test bat

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016 Andrew Drummond

Australia's Test batsmen need to scrap any hope of putting on a classy display and gather runs however they can, paceman Mitchell Starc says of the latest change room message.

After Australia's first-innings, 85-run collapse on Saturday Starc went on to take 3-49 as South Africa closed day one at 5-171.

"Everything we've spoken about hasn't translated into actions or results on the field," Starc told ABC Radio on Sunday when day two was abandoned due to rain.

Skipper Steve Smith's message had been clear.

"You've got to be happy to score ugly runs sometimes," Starc relayed.

"Whether it's inside-edging a few runs down to fine leg to get off strike or something like that, you've just got to find a way to score runs and you don't have to look good doing it you just have to get the runs on the board."

Starc said it is a fine line between the inclination to play a natural game and trying to survive at the crease which can bring few or no runs.

"You don't want to try and block a ball that has your name written on it when it's seaming around or swinging around," the quick said.

While batting was Australia's main problem on Saturday Starc was also critical of the bowling effort.

"I don't think we used the new ball well enough," he said.

"South Africa were very good in the way they used the new ball obviously. I think we could've been better there.

"But then coming out after tea I think we really hit the areas we wanted to throughout that session and got the rewards with the ball, so I think we started probably too slowly with being either too full or too short.

"The South African openers probably chose their shots a bit better than we did also."

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