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Starc ready to make his mark in Hobart
Greg Buckle
21:01 AEST Tue Dec 11 2012

Mitchell Starc says he's never been so nervous as he was in his comeback Test against South Africa in Perth.

The big left-armer finished the match earlier this month with eight wickets in a losing side including a career-best 6-154 in the second innings, plus a personal-best knock of 68 not out.

Now that he's finally able to string some first-class games together following several months of Twenty20 and one-day international commitments, the 22-year-old is growing in confidence.

In his five-Test career, Starc has shaped the ball in to the right-handed batsmen in stunning fashion and has claimed 18 wickets at 29.66, plus a batting average of 43.75.

And while Starc isn't guaranteed a game as yet for Friday's first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart, the NSW quick is licking his lips at the pitch's green tinge.

He's also happy to have two Sheffield Shield games and a Test under his belt since the start of November.

"I was probably more nervous in that first innings (in Perth) than I was in my debut," Starc told reporters on Tuesday night in Hobart.

Starc says he's enjoying getting into the rhythm of first-class cricket, something Ben Hilfenhaus has also struggled with following the Champions League T20 in South Africa in October.

"To come back and play a few Shield games and have a Test, I'm feeling a lot more confident with my red-ball bowling after a long stint with the white ball," said Starc, whose first Test of the summer was the Perth match.

The return of Peter Siddle and Hilfenhaus to the 12-man squad and Siddle's likely inclusion in the eleven with spinner Nathan Lyon could mean Starc, Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson are vying for the remaining two pace-bowling spots.

Hilfenhaus has struggled so far this summer, claiming six wickets in Brisbane and Adelaide after being a dominant force against India last summer.

The 29-year-old Tasmanian has had a knee complaint but bowled well in the nets on Tuesday and needs only two wickets this week to join the 100-club in his 27th match.

"He's going to bowl well. He's a class bowler," Starc said.