Mitchell Starc is fit and firing.
Mitchell Starc is fit and firing.

Starc warning to rivals as Mitch finds target again

With the best strike rate in ODI history and only Glenn McGrath having taken more World Cup wickets for Australia, a fit and firing Mitchell Starc is ready to replicate his 2015 heroics.

Starc's 4/55 against Sri Lanka saw him overtake Shane Warne, Shaun Tait and Brad Hogg with Glenn McGrath the only Aussie with a better record at cricket's showpiece tournament.

Starc, the player of the 2015 World Cup, is barely halfway through his second tournament yet drew level with Brett Lee on 35 scalps.

The left-arm superstar boasts the best strike-rate in ODI history with his express pace and full deliveries unsettling batsmen on flat pitches in England.

Starc and Cummins have got through Australia's gruelling stretch of four games in 10 days and can now enjoy more days off with the final four group games spread over 21 days.

"We've had a pretty busy 10 days with all the games and all the travel," Starc said.

"We spoke about that before this fixture and wanted to give as much as we could today to get the result and have a little bit more of a relaxed back-end of the tournament.

"If I'm fit I'd like to (play every game). Ultimately it's not up to me, but it's a World Cup - I think you have to play your best 11. I definitely won't be putting up my hand to rest."

 

Starc is in no mood to take his foot off the gas.
Starc is in no mood to take his foot off the gas.

 

Starc and Cummins are the World Cup's top two wicket takers with 13 and 11 respectively, although Pakistan's Mohammad Amir has 10 and is due to play India on Sunday night.

Starc, 29, credited a simple game plan to his white-ball success.

"I don't try and have all these different variations, I'm pretty clearly focused on what I want to do," he said.

"Whether it's the new ball (or the) old ball."

Captain Aaron Finch has given Starc short, sharp spells this tournament and his death bowling has navigated Australia out of trouble in two of its wins.

Debutant Jason Behrendorff (1/59) highlighted that Starc had picked up two of his wickets by smashing the stumps.

"(He teaches) how important it is to bowl 145-150km," Behrendorff said.

"He's got great intent and he hits the stumps a lot."

Starc's average in Australia's four wins is 14.6 compared with 74 in its loss to India.

Finch said the plan to bowl a Test match line and length didn't work but praised the ability of his attack to adapt.

"Once we bowled fuller with a straight man up, I felt like that's when we started to rein it back in and really stop the scoring," Finch said.

Starc said injured all-rounder Marcus Stoinis would attempt to bowl this week in a bid to save his World Cup.

"He obviously plays a big part in playing a balanced team," Starc said.

"We want to see Stoiny fit and firing but if he unfortunately doesn't come up then we've got Mitchy Marsh, who did a great job last World Cup as well.

"He's in great spirits, he's always got a smile on his face. I think that's why JL (coach Justin Langer) calls him the spirit of the team, he's a great team man."

News Corp Australia


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