(REUTERS) – Fast bowler Mitchell Starc remains Australia’s most potent weapon with the ball despite their spinners stealing the show in the series-opener against India, teammate Mitchell Marsh said yesterday.On the turning track in Pune, left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe bagged 12 wickets while slow-bowling partner Nathan Lyon took five as the touring side thumped India by 333 runs inside three days in the first match of the four-Test series.Nature of the pitch meant left-armer Starc bowled only 11 overs in the first Test but his workload could increase significantly at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium which hosts the second Test from tomorrow.“He’s one of the best bowlers in the world, if not the best bowler in the world,” all-rounder Marsh told reporters yesterday. “He’s certainly the best reverse-swing bowler in the world.“In these conditions, whilst all the talk has been about the spinners he’s still our biggest weapon, I think.“It’s great if he’s in the Indians’ heads, hopefully he can take a few wickets for us.”The Bengaluru track is not expected to provide as much turn as Pune for the slow bowlers and the pacemen’s ability to reverse-swing the old ball could prove crucial.Marsh said Australia are well equipped in that department with Starc and Josh Hazlewood in their side.“In Pune the wicket itself did a lot of work for us, it’s not necessarily the square here,” Marsh said. “These balls scuff up well early on. Reverse swing will be huge for us.“If we can get it going we’ve got two of the best reverse-swing bowlers in the world. They will still be huge weapons for us.”On the slow and dry tracks in Asia, where Australia had lost their last nine Tests before their Pune heroics, defence was a key aspect of batting, according to Marsh.It’s a big part of playing well over here, and it’s something all our batsmen have worked on,” the 25-year-old said. “Against a turning ball if you can back your defence then attacking the ball that’s there will be much better.“In these conditions you’ve got to earn the right to attack and that’s by having a solid defence. That’s what I’ve been working on.”
STARRY STARRY BEDROOM As any local stargazer knows, it’s not easy finding a spot in L.A. to get a good view of the night sky – there are just too many lights. That’s not a problem with the new Star Theatre V3 from the Discovery Channel. Just flick off the lights in your home and you can project a 360-degree view of hundreds of stars and constellations onto your ceiling and walls. Star Theatre comes with a compass and date and time dial for celestial positioning accurate down to the hour. It requires five AAA batteries (not included) and sells for $24.95 at www.discoverystore.com or (800) 889-9950. SWEET TOTE So you have someone on your shopping list with a nasty sweet tooth. That’s OK, no need for her to be ashamed. Hey, she can even display her candy love for all to see. The Candy Wrapper Collection from the VivaTerra company features purses made entirely from recycled candy wrappers. (And to think, you throw yours away.) The bags are slightly tapered with wide bottoms to accommodate large and small items. The multicolored clutch, measuring 10 by 5 inches, is priced at $49; the bag, at 14 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches, goes for $229. To order, go to www.vivaterra.com or call (800) 233-6011. CLEAN UP If you are looking for a stocking stuffer for that cute little baby on your list or the baby’s mom, why not give something useful. DaBib ($12.99) is a new way of keeping baby clean and dry. The nontoxic, lead-free stylish bib minimizes stains, spills and leaks with a “scrunch collar,” a rib knit turtleneck that prevents food and dribble from getting underneath. A hidden pouch is there to catch crumbs and tidbits. Its super absorbent terry cloth has a waterproof backing. And it hooks in the front, so no more fishing behind the neck to get it on at mealtime. Available in a number of colors and designs at www.dabib.com. ISLAND HISTORY Local history enthusiasts will drool over these books, “Santa Catalina Island: Its Magic, History and People,” “Santa Catalina Island Goes to War” and “The Wrigley Family: A Legacy of Leadership in Santa Catalina Island.” All books available at www.whitelimitededitions.com AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsAuthor William S. White is a third-generation Californian and Catalina native who divides his time between homes in Glendora and Avalon, where, during White’s childhood, his dad was mayor. “Santa Catalina Island” ($39.95, White Limited Editions) is filled with 200 pages of oral histories told to White that recount the island’s early peoples, development into a resort destination by the Wrigley family and status as a celebrity playground. It also features more than 400 photographs, including shots of Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Winston Churchill, author Zane Grey, James Cagney, Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis and Mickey Rooney. The 116-page “Santa Island Goes to War” ($25, White Limited Editions) highlights how troops stationed on Catalina acted as the first line of defense against Japanese submarines and how the Merchant Marines set up a training center on the island. White grew up with the Wrigleys, affording him a unique look at their life, and “The Wrigley Family” ($37.75, White Limited Editions) gives a rare, behind-the-scenes look at three generations. CANDY CLUB Hershey’s has a sweet treat for those candy lovers on your shopping list. Sign them up for the new Fresh From the Factory Club, and Hershey promises they’ll receive big jars of candy within 96 hours of its being packaged in the factory. Now that’s fresh. There are seven clubs, ranging from three months for $60 to six months for $115, and various candy combinations – Reese’s peanut butter cups, NutRageous, PayDay, Twizzlers, Good & Plenty and Almond Joy. The jars hold various amounts, from 1 pound 7ounces of Reese’s to 5 pounds of Twizzlers. You also can include a personalized message in each shipment. Join the club at (800) 454-7737 – that’s 800-4-KISSES – or at www.hersheygifts.com. LISTEN UP Portable digital music players shouldn’t be tied to one downloading service, and they shouldn’t cost more than $50. That leaves out a certain brand of players but leaves in two new offerings from SanDisk, the company that makes all those flash memory cards we have in our cameras. And when you’re talking about $39.99 for the 1 GB Sansa Clip and 512 MB Sansa Shaker, they make the perfect stocking stuffer for kids and grownups alike. The Sansa Clip is super small, includes an FM tuner and plays music and other audio content in the MP3, WAV, Audible and Windows Media formats. You can cram between 250 and 500 songs onto it and listen for up to 32 hours between charges. The Sansa Shaker may hold less music, but it stores your tunes on a removable SD card, meaning you can swap in another card with different selections whenever you want. And besides looking so cool, you can actually shake it when you want to go to the next song. So shake instead of shuffle, if you know what we mean. TUGGIN’ PUP Every kid wants a dog, but it’s not always practical. Give the next best thing with a Furreal Friends Tuggin’ Pup. The plush dog responds to petting with happy puppy noises and barks. Pull on the rope he holds and he resists and even growls. There are six different breeds available and each one comes with an adoption certificate. Suitable for ages 4 and older. Get your pick of the litter for $20 at toy stores, mass merchandisers and anywhere Hasbro products are sold. STRANGE BEANIE AND GLOVES Teens and tweens might just think you’re cool if you give them a bit of warm weirdness from Emily the Strange. The black Nee Chee beanie ($18) boasts an embroidered cat face with faux fur ears and an ear flap/chin tie with oversize white pompoms. Make it a set by adding a pair of Psycha-Emily gloves ($10) that sport purple stripes, a logo patch and black pompoms at the wrist. One size fits most. www.emilystrange.com. SWEET GIFT Still in a quandary? Or perhaps you would like to have a gift in reserve for last-minute party hostesses and surprise visitors. It’s easy to please with anything from Woodhouse Chocolate. Former Pasadena residents John and Tracy Wood Anderson and their family are constantly creating new confections to satisfy all palates. Select from traditional chocolate assortments ($22-$168), solid or nutty chocolate bars ($24), caramels with fleur de sle ($12) and English toffee ($12-$32), as well as hot chocolate ($16), mediants ($10) and sea turtles ($10). There are also specialty gifts based on the themes of the season. We suggest to buy extra because you might not be able to resist a nibble! (800) 966-3468, www.woodhousechocolate.com. ATLAS OF CALIFORNIA Derek Hays has written previous atlases (“Historical Atlas of the United States,” “Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest,” “Historical Atlas of the Arctic”). His newest, just in time for holiday gift-giving, is “Historical Atlas of California” (University of California Press, $40. “Oh, yet another enormous coffee table book that no one will ever actually look at,” I said to myself. Wrong. This is actually an interesting book, starting with the possibilities of migrations from Asia and ending with compilation maps of earthquake faults as sent from space by satellites. The text is informative, and many of the maps are works of art. Early maps were drawn without much actual knowledge of California, so they are especially creative. This is a giant book, measuring 10″ x 13″ and weighing five pounds. JOY IN EACH BITE The holidays seem to be a time when we become sumptuous in our gift-giving. What could be more welcome than Chocolates By Imagination, whose motto is “A little joy in each bite.” Outer boxes are created of hand-poured chocolate, beautifully decorated, and then, the interior is filled with lovely, individual pieces. The one pound milk chocolate poinsettia box is $15.50. The 8 ounce snowman box of white chocolate is $10. And, what a conversation piece the set of holiday spoons will be at six for $8. 307 S. Vermont Ave., Suite I, Glendora. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, but appointments can be made for other times. (626) 852-0939, www.chocolatesbyimagination.com. GRABER OLIVES Mmmm, those fleshy and flavorful Graber Olives are just perfect for anyone’s holiday table – or out of the can for a quick snack. These tree-ripened treats boast a golden color. They are grown and produced at the Graber Olive House in Ontario. The olives come in various sizes. Olives are offered by the can, in multipacks or in gift baskets coupled with such gourmet specialties as olive oil, dates, fish, dried fruits, nuts, sweets and wines. Gift sets start from about $20. Graber Olive House, 315 E. Fourth St., Ontario. (800) 996-5483, www.graberolives.com. EXPRESS GAMES Time is tight, for kids as well as for adults. Hasbro may have found a way to get the family playing again with Express Games, fast-paced fun in the form of such time-honored favorites as Sorry, Scrabble and Monopoly. Not only compact and convenient, these games are played with condensed instructions in about 20 minutes. $14.99 for each game that two to four players (ages 6 to adult) can play. Available in most toy departments. www.hasbro.com. BARBIE SITS ON A THRONE Many little girls dream of being a princess, and with Mattel’s Barbie My Size Throne, they will surely feel like a queen. Decorated in hearts, jewels and golden swirls, the throne has a musical seat that’s also a secret storage compartment. This pretty-in-pink pedestal comes with child-size accessories such as a tiara, glittery skirt, press-on nails and a micro-mini princess doll. Recommended for ages 3 and older. Batteries for the chair’s music not included. $59.99, available in most toy departments. RACING TICKET Ladies, start your gentleman’s engine. The California Speedway and NASCAR have teamed up to offer a unique ticket promotion featuring 2006 and 2007 Chase champion – and Southern California native – Jimmie Johnson. The package includes a race ticket in rows 11-23 for the Auto Club 500 on Feb. 4, admission to a question-and-answer session with the champ, a pre-race pit pass and a limited-edition Lucite stock car commemorating Johnson’s first NEXTEL Cup victory, which took place at California Speedway on April 28, 2002. In this, the season of giving – and giving back – $48 of the $148 ticket package price will be donated to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need. (866) 771-7223, www.californiaspeedway.com. PERFUME PENS At last, there’s a secure, simple and secret way to carry a favorite fragrance. Instead of stuffing bulky bottles in a purse or vest pocket, Jim Ransome, owner of Wood Pen Paradise, handcrafts perfume pens. He creates these pens from various woods and acrylics. To add a scent, just dip the tip of pen into the perfume. The center tip will absorb the perfume and keep it handy until application. Call him for special orders or visit his online store accessible from his Web site. Bids start at $19.95 or have a “buy it now” price at $29.95. (805) 260-0731, mysite.verizon.net/artgalry/id2.html. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!