World Cup 2019: Mitchell Starc's unparalleled ability will be key for Australia
Mitchell Starc was a key player of the 2015 World Cup-winning Australian Team. He is a left-arm fast bowler with an ability to swing the ball at high speeds. He is also a great bowler at the death with the ability to release Yorkers at will.
In 2015 he was adjudged Man of the Tournament with 22 wickets at an average of 10.18 and an economy rate of 3.5. This included a 6/28 against New Zealand in a pool match. In the finals, he took 2/20 including the wicket of NZ captain Brendon McCullum.
His heroics were supported by Mitchell Johnson (10 wickets), James Faulkner (10 wickets) & Josh Hazlewood (7 wickets). Starc always believes in seeking advice from a professional & Craig McDermott was his guiding factor in 2015.
However, in the post-World Cup win phase, Starc has gone through ups & downs. The major issues being injury scares. He went through career-threatening soft tissue damage in the upper part of his body during a test match with Sri Lanka.
Starc had to withdraw from IPL, an away series with India and a subsequent series with Pakistan in UAE. Though the injuries were disappointing, Starc gradually prepared himself under the watchful eyes of coach Andre Adams. Special care has been taken to build back confidence in him. The objective is to be in shape and form like he was in 2015. He has been watching his own videos, to reinforce himself, his tremendous ability to destroy any quality batting line up.
Though the towering pacer is short on match practice, no one can doubt his ability. Australia in their first match defeated Afghanistan by 7 wickets.
Mitchell Starc's figures read 7 overs, 1/31. However, in the second important match against West Indies, the champion pacer showed his true quality. Completing his 10 overs, he ended with the match with the figures 5/46. This included a fine spell of bowling at the death by taking the wicket of Jason Holder in the 46th over & Sheldon Cottrell in the 48th Over.
In the absence of Johnson, Starc is the now the senior member of their bowling attack. Pat Cummins, Marcus Stoinis & Nathan Coulter Nile would rally around him to achieve the goals of the Australian bowling unit.
In the high-profile match between India & Australia, it will be interesting to see the battle between Indian Batting unit comprising heavyweights like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma & Virat Kohli and the Australian Bowling unit led by Mitchell Starc.
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