Australia pace ace Mitchell Starc is on the warpath against the Proteas ahead of the first Test this Thursday.
Starc hit back at jibes made by South Africa batting coach Neil McKenzie that the Aussies don’t have the bowling attack to intimidate his Proteas.
But the left-arm quick, who can hit the 160km mark when fired up, says McKenzie and any SA batsman is welcome to face him in the nets.
Starc tells the Aussie press: “It’s easy for him to say that sitting behind the desk, [I’m] happy for him to face me.
“He’s entitled to his opinions. It’s a lot easier making comments like that when you don’t have to face anything. He throws the wanger down at his batsmen and sits back and watches.
“We’ll all be trying to crank it up. I’ll be trying to bowl as fast as I can.
“Just because they’ve got Dale Steyn… and Kagiso Rabada bowling fast doesn’t mean we haven’t got anyone to match that.”
Starc says he is not where he wants to be in his recovery from a leg injury that ruled him out of the recent ODI series whitewash by the Proteas.
But he says that will not stop him from going all out.
The 26-year-old says: “I’m [more than a week] behind where I’d like to be.
“Being in a brace for four weeks, I couldn’t sweat on the wound so I couldn’t run or do all the gym sessions they wanted me to do.
“I’m happy to bowl long spells, it’s up to [captain] Steve [Smith]. I’ll be prepared to play the Test match in any role I do.”
Meanwhile, SA speed king Dale Steyn says he is targeting Steve Smith, who he believes is the Aussies’ main man.
Steyn, who is just five wickets away from equalling Shaun Pollock’s South African Test record of 421, says: “Aussie captains kind of lead the attack. From my history of looking at Aussie cricket, the great players like Steve Waugh, you can remember Ricky Ponting, and Michael Clark. And Steve Smith kind of falls into that bracket.
“The moment you can kind of get hold of the captain, the rest of the players… rely heavily on him.
“He kinds of leads the ship, so when you pull the plug on that kind of ship, you can sink it.”