NSW speedster Mitchell Starc said toiling away on a lifeless SCG deck in the drawn Bupa Sheffield Shield match against Victoria was the ideal preparation for the second Test against South Africa at Adelaide Oval.
Starc, 12th man in Brisbane, pressed his claims for an Adelaide call-up with impressive figures of 4-72 against the Bushrangers.
"It's challenging when you have a wicket that's got nothing for the quicks like this one out there," Starc said.
"It crumbled a bit. There's a bit of help in it for the spinners ... but to get a flatter wicket is more similar to what we might get in Adelaide.
"To get some overs on a flat deck to work hard and make sure you get the areas right and show patience rather than try and get a wicket every ball is ideal.
"It's good not just for myself but the group to have those sessions where you work really hard for your results."
Despite playing limited red-ball cricket after spearheading the Sydney Sixers' Champions League Twenty20 triumph, the 22-year-old is adamant he's ready for the rigours of Test cricket if selected.
"I'm pretty happy with how the ball's coming out," Starc said.
"There were a few stages there where I would have done things differently if I had time over in terms of going over or around the wicket because the ball wasn't doing too much.
"The rain didn't help with a bit of moisture on the ball but the ball was coming out pretty well. Hopefully I can keep getting better."
Asked if being a lefty could work in his favour when selectors settle on their final XI, Starc replied: "It helps me being a bit different to the other blokes. I'm probably the tallest one of the lot too so I can offer a bit of bounce.
"If I can get the ball swinging like I have for the last few months that's probably going to help me the most.
"Jimmy (James Pattinson) is bowling quick, Ben Hilfenhaus is getting a bit of swing and getting a bit more bounce ... and Siddsy (Peter Siddle) hits the deck."
First Posted 16 November, 2012 8:37PM AEST