You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Starc affected by extra pressure: Harris

AAP logoAAP 25/11/2016 Warren Barnsley

Under-performing fast bowler Mitchell Starc is facing the same pressures that led to Mitchell Johnson's mid-career form slump, according to Ryan Harris.

Pace spearhead Starc has taken 10 wickets for Australia so far in the Test series against South Africa, the 26-year-old far from his menacing best with an average of just over 34.

That compares to an overall Test average of 22.45 in 30 matches.

Starc removed both Proteas openers on day one of the third Test in Adelaide on Thursday, but lacked consistency and threw away an early wicket when he trapped Stephen Cook plumb in front on a no-ball.

Former fast bowling teammate Harris stopped short of saying Starc was in a form slump, but admitted he was under pressure to improve.

"The opposition teams will be looking at him closely and how to play him to put him under pressure," Harris told SEN radio on Friday.

"It's a challenging time for him to really work out how to get out of - not a slump - but he's not obviously putting the ball exactly where he wants it to go."

The left-armer was far-and-away Australia's best bowler in their woeful series against Sri Lanka this year, taking 24 wickets in three Tests at 15.16 on slow and lifeless wickets suited to the slow bowlers.

But Harris said Starc looked "under-done" against South Africa due to a limited preparation as he recovered from a nasty leg gash.

Despite the disappointing series, Harris backed Starc to regain his most devastating form.

He likened Starc's situation to retired Test star Johnson, whose career unravelled in 2011 when he struggled with form and spent six months out with injury.

"There's a bit more pressure on him now because ... he's leading our attack and he's our quickest bowler," Harris said.

"That's probably what Mitchell Johnson had on him a fair bit as well, and now Starc's got it.

"He will come out of it.

"But it's just going to be interesting to see how he does work out how to be that leader and when it's not quite going well, how to work all that out."

STARC AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA:

First Test: 4-71, 1-114

Second Test: 3-79

Third Test: 2-78

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon