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Trent Copeland says criticism of Mitchell Starc is the ‘easy option’

New South Wales cricket star Trent Copeland says the criticism towards Mitchell Starc this summer has been taking the “easy option” out.

Starc was the subject of intense scrutiny on multiple occasions throughout the summer on the back of some inconsistent form – even leading to some calling for his axing.

But the the tearaway quick was back at his best against Sri Lanka in the second Test at Manuka Oval – taking two five-wicket hauls to finish with match figures of 10/100 – as Australia hammered the foreigners by 366 runs.

Copeland says after a convincing 2-1 series loss to India earlier this summer, Starc was made a scapegoat.

“I can’t help but think that some of the criticism is just the easy option at times with guys like Mitchell,” Copeland said.

“He’s not in the team to be the guy that bowl on the 20 cent piece.

“He’s in the team to bowl seven-foot release 150 kilometres an hour which he did remarkably consistently all summer.

“He didn’t bowl his best at times, but at his best he is in the top five bowlers in world cricket.”

The 29-year-old finished with 13 wickets in the four Tests against India and took two wickets in the series opener against Sri Lanka – before unleashing on the tourists batting line up in Canberra.

Copeland also said Steve Smith and David Warner are near certainties to play in the upcoming Ashes series in England – once they return from their ball-tampering suspensions.

“That’s the tough thing, I don’t know who will miss out,” Copeland said.

“What I will say is they’re two of the best five batsmen in world cricket.

“Still if you look at the ICC rankings despite having missed the 12 months.

“They’re world class and if they’re playing and they’re playing well then they’ll be in that team.”

The Poms have had their own struggles after being hammered twice by the West Indies and only passing 200 once in two Test matches.

The Ashes begins on August 1.


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Macquarie Sports Radio