Mitchell Starc's rise to prominence in international cricket
Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket among active cricketers. A conventional left-arm seamer, Starc has been Australia's linchpin of bowling attack across all formats. His propensity to couple swing with sheer pace gives the batsmen a run for the money. Let us have a look at how he stamped his authority in international cricket.
The lanky fast bowler made his First-class debut in the 2009 Sheffield Shield season for New South Wales. With the match being drawn, he ended up taking two wickets for 92 runs. Starc had a decent run in his debut season, having scalped 21 wickets from eight matches 34.19. He also impressed in his maiden List A match after finishing on 24/2.
Starc was handed his international debut in the 2010 Indian tour when quite a few Australian fast bowlers were sidelined due to respective injuries. He opened the bowling alongside Clint McKay in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam, but remained wicketless. However, Starc delivered the goods in the Brisbane ODI against Sri Lanka next month as he snapped up an astonishing four-wicket haul.
Starc had momentary stints in the national side before the World T20 in 2012 due to inconsistency. However, he picked up 10 wickets at 16.40 in the tournament. His formidable display later made him a mainstay in the Australian side in every format. He also gave a testimony of his batting ability after scoring an unbeaten 68 against South Africa in Perth Test (2012).
Veteran bowler Shane termed Starc's body language "negative" during the India series in 2014-15. He reiterated that Starc needs to revoke his soft attitude against India, following the Brisbane Test. His statement came after the Indian batsmen tormented Australia's pace attack in the Test. However, his comments in turn charged up Mitchell Starc for the 2015 World Cup.
The year 2015 saw a transformed version of Mitchell Starc in international cricket. He guided Australia to World Cup title in 2015, having taken 22 wickets in eight matches at 10.18. Later that year, Starc scripted history after recording a delivery at 160.4 KPH in a Test against New Zealand. With 88 scalps 21.04, he was the highest wicket-taker in 2015.
Although Starc's form in the recent years has been magnificent, he had to miss quite a few series due to injuries. Australia missed his services in the India series last season as he was out with muscle tear. However, he bounced back in the 2019 World Cup, wherein he was the leading wicket-taker. Starc's average since January 2018 reads 28.59 (ODIs) and 18.15 (T20Is).
Starc surpassed Glenn McGrath's tally of most wickets in a single World Cup edition, in 2019. He finished with 27 wickets in 10 matches at an incredible average of 18.59. McGrath owned the record previously with 26 wickets in the 2007 World Cup.
Starc looked in terrific touch during the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa. Hence, hosts Australia will be banking on their premiere fast bowler in the upcoming T20 World Cup. While he looked out of rhythm in the 2014 edition, an ankle injury ruled him out in 2016. He will be geared up for the impending ICC tournament, this time around.