Mitchell Starc will enter the summer with uncertainty around his position as leader of Australia’s pace attack for the first time since 2016.
Starc found himself out of favour this past Ashes series in England, playing just the fourth Test as Langer opted to go with more economical choices over the firebrand quick.
But Starc is looking to put that series to bed after he was the leading wicket-taker for the second ODI World Cup in succession, as he is looking to make his mark felt in the upcoming Marsh Sheffield Shield.
Having spent five months abroad, Starc returns home ready to unleash the shackles and return to bowling fast – something he is renowned for around the world.
“I’ll be trying to get back into the mindset of run in and bowl fast and intimidate with pace, and hopefully get a bit of swing,” Starc told cricket.com.au.
“The Kookaburra ball doesn’t do as much as the Dukes ball and the wickets are generally flatter in Australia (and) it probably won’t seam around as much.
“So that’s a little bit of a point of difference I can generate, those high speeds and get those batsmen jumping around.”
After the staggering amount of cricket he put in the winter season, it’s easy to forget Starc’s dominance in Australia which included a 10-wicket haul in February against Sri Lanka.
But the left-arm quick won’t be unlearning what he gained in England, opting to keep the learning to hone in on his array of skills.
“I think developed my skills for English bowling and I was pretty happy with how I went about my work over there,” Starc says of his time with the red ball.
“I took a different mindset of not trying to bowl the way I do in Australia because the wickets are different, the balls are different.
“With the wickets being slower you try and get more seam movement, a bit more through the air and not just try and run in and only focus on bowling fast.
“I was pretty happy with how that side of my game developed over there and that’s something that at times perhaps I can bring into my game in Australia.
“But it’s different conditions, and hopefully faster and bouncier wickets where you can run in and try and bowl fast.”
“You want to play every game,” Starc says,” but having that mindset knowing they were going to pick on conditions and how they thought the make-up of the game would be best to win games of cricket, it makes it an easier pill to swallow.
“And wanting to stay ready for when and if you do get called upon, you want to be able to take that opportunity with both hands to try and win a Test for Australia.
“A part of you is disappointed you’re not playing but at the same time we all wanted to be part of a squad, a group that was going to win the Ashes, and we retained the trophy.
“The fact that we had six guys who could have come in to play at any stage was fantastic, and something Australia hasn’t had for a long time.
“You normally have three or, if you’re lucky, four who’ve got Test experience who could be in the side at any one time with injuries and all that sort of thing.
“Along with the fact we’ve all grown up together, played a lot with and against each other, that played a massive part in that understanding we were there to win the Ashes, we weren’t there just to be a part of the XI and play as many games as we could.”
Starc is unclear if Langer will approach this home summer in a similar vein to England with a rotation policy for quicks, but one thing for sure is that it looks to be a shootout in the Marsh Sheffield Shield for spots in Australia’s home pace attack.
“In the past it’s been one game and away you go, into the international summer,” Starc said of his involvement in the NSW Blues’ Shield campaigns in recent seasons.
“To get a chance to play a few more is exciting to pull on the Baggy Blue, I don’t get to do that too often.
“We play our first two games at the Gabba and the SCG – for us Blue Baggers it doesn’t happen too many times to play at the SCG, so the guys are definitely excited about that.
“At the moment everyone is fit which is really exciting, there’s a lot of Shield cricket before the Test group get back together again and obviously T20s before that.
“A lot can happen in a short space of time but hopefully everyone is still fit for the summer, it will make it exciting for fans to watch and for us to be part of.
“Players and teams perform at their best when you’re trying to win games of cricket and let selection and the rest of it take care of itself. If you’re contributing to wins, that’s going to be taken into consideration.”