Mitchell Starc reveals the damage inflicted on his body due to rigours of international cricket
An international fast bowler’s life can be pretty tough in modern day cricket, especially if you are the leading the pace attack for your side. With the amount of cricket played these days, the workload does indeed take a toll on your body. The case of Australia’s Mitchell Starc is no different, and, in fact, by virtue of being one of the leading bowlers in the format across all three formats of the game, the 26-year-old is one of the best examples in this regard. Starc played through the pain barrier during the 2015 ICC World Cup picking up 22 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 3.58 to bag the Player of the Tournament award thus playing a prominent part in Australia’s triumph, but not without repercussions.
The signs were there towards the end of the tournament with minor niggles creeping in but with the World Cup followed soon after by the IPL and most importantly the Ashes – something which is held in even higher regard than the global ICC events by most Australians – Starc played through the pain and the move paid off as he picked up seven wickets in the first Test at Cardiff which the visitors won convincingly.
"That's part of being a fast bowler," Australian great Glenn McGrath told cricket.com.au at the time, reflecting on Starc’s performance. "It's tough on the body, you've got be hard, tough. To be a fast bowler you've got to be tough, you've got to push through that pain barrier on a regular basis.”
Though Starc managed to see himself through that time, the left-arm pacer’s luck finally ran out though during the historic first-ever Day-Night between Australia and England after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot.
“It is something we’ve been managing for a while and I had a couple more cortisone (injections) after the Perth Test so it’s actually something that has been managed quite well,” Starc had revealed at the time.
Forced to wear a protective boot in the immediate aftermath of the incident, Starc took the decision to undergo the long-pending ankle injury which ultimately saw him miss the 2016 ICC World T20 and the ninth edition of the IPL among others. He made his long-awaited comeback in the ongoing tri-series in the Carribean but the Australian team management has been careful not to rush him back, giving him adequate rest between matches.
Starc himself is not taking any chances with his body and prior to Tuesday’s match against the West Indies – one in which he took three wickets as Australia reached the final – took to social media site Instagram to reveal how he is protecting his foot against possible injuries. Starc has his toes and right ankle covered by a swathe of bandages to serve as a cushion to protect his feet and by the look of his performance on Tuesday, it is certainly helping his cause.