Quick Starc doesn't scare in-form Weatherald
CRACK opener Jake Weatherald only knows a ton of success against Mitchell Starc and the South Australian wants to keep it that way in a high-stakes JLT Sheffield Shield season starter against New South Wales on Friday.
Weatherald, 22, is free of the baggage of Starc's 8/90 match-winning figures in the Test speedster's last day-night Sheffield Shield visit two years ago at Adelaide Oval.
Weatherald's decisive 103 against New South Wales at Hurstville Oval in the JLT Cup kickstarted a Redbacks run to the competition final and momentum entering the first-class season.
"It was good. One-day cricket is a lot different from Shield cricket but is has given me a lot of confidence," said Weatherald, who blasted 116 in SA's JLT elimination final triumph against Victoria in Hobart.
"The hundred against New South Wales was my first game against Mitchell Starc who was coming back from injury. To get a little bit of insight to what he does was good.
"He's a lot quicker than most people in Shield cricket so you have to think quicker. Some balls are unplayable so you just stay positive and look to score.
"Hopefully we keep out his better balls for long, make some runs and bowl them out."
The Redbacks have since featured in four domestic finals since in two years and crave mixing it with an all-star cast commanded by Steve Smith and David Warner.
"It is a great opportunity against what is pretty much the Australian team," Weatherald told The Advertiser.
"Making runs against the pink ball you definitely put your name up in lights. If you make a 100 on that wicket you are a long way to winning a game for your state."
The Blues will unleash current Tests speedsters Starc, Cummins and off-spinner Nathan Lyon. Weatherald has absolute faith in Shield player of the year Chadd Sayers, Joe Mennie, Daniel Worrall and leg-spinner Adam Zampa with the pink ball.
"This is a game we are optimistic about. Our bowlers are suited to it really well so if we can play our best game it sets up the season nicely," said Weatherald, who made 66 and 96 in the 2015-16 Sheffield Shield final against Victoria at Glenelg.
"If we can beat these guys we can beat anyone."
Weatherald featured in three JLT Cup opening century stands with keeper-batsman and close mate Alex Carey, including 212 in the elimination final.
Carey broke the Shield dismissals record with 59 last season and Weatherald says he should be odds on for Ashes Test selection with a blazing start to the season with the bat.
"His keeping is his strength and knows he has to make runs to justify his Test spot. He has to be very close to playing," Weatherald said.
Taking on Smith, Warner and company is the ideal way to forget a losing JLT Cup final against Western Australia.
"We can't dwell on that loss, we have to be on our A-game," Weatherald said.