Mitchell Starc the most feared bowler in the world currently: George Bailey
With just a few matches left in the group stages of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, there’s little doubt that this edition has been dominated by batsmen. Short boundaries, broader bats and strict fielding restrictions have meant that there have been fours and sixes galore in the tournament so far. But, despite all the carnage, there have been a few bowlers who have risen to the challenge and put up good performances.
One among them is Australia’s Mitchell Starc, who has certainly been the most impressive of all the Australian quicks. The 25-year-old has been in red-hot form in the World Cup, picking up 12 wickets in 4 matches, including a spell of 6 for 28 against New Zealand in Auckland that almost won his side the game. One of the startling aspects of Starc’s performance has been the fact that he has comfortably outbowled new ball partner Mitchell Johnson, who is one of the most reputed bowlers in the world today courtesy of his exploits in the last 12-18 months.
However, one man who isn't all that surprised by Starc’s display is George Bailey, who has captained him in the shorter formats on quite a regular basis in the recent past.
When asked whether he was a more feared bowler in world cricket than the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lasith Malinga, Bailey remarked: “I would say he's more feared. I think he's got some really specific skills at the death that very few guys in the world I reckon are able to produce. I think he's got some really specific skills at the death that very few guys in the world I reckon are able to produce.
"That would be weighing on teams' minds. If he's doing that really well, and James Faulkner's skill at the death - Patty Cummins and Joshy Hazlewood do it really well too - then teams don't know when it is that time to launch, and you can put a bit of pressure on them a bit earlier.
“In many respects he's earned the right now to get the new ball and bowl at the end he wants, that best helps his swing and what not. He's certainly come on in leaps and bounds.”
Really pleasing to see Starc’s consistency: Bailey
The 32-year-old added that he was always aware of the potential Starc possessed and that it has been heartening to see him perform at his optimal in the World Cup.
"It comes as no surprise, personally. We've seen that ability in him for many years. He's had patches where he's put it together, and the really pleasing thing is he's just been really consistent with it.
"I'm just really proud of how consistent he has become, because the player he is and the impact he can have we were seeing glimpses of that once or twice a series, but for him to be able to put that on the park consistently is just huge. It's making a real impact for us,” Bailey concluded.