Mitchell Starc- the unstoppable force that can lead Australia to World Cup glory

first_imgIt’s June 2018. Australia are in England for 5 ODIs and a one-off T20I against the hosts. This is just a couple of months after their horrendous Test series loss in South Africa , a series which was headlined by 3 players being banned from the game. The events of Newlands clearly had a big impact on the Australian side as they were blanked out by England in all the 6 matches.Cut to an year later. It’s the World Cup, and Australia are defending their title, having won the tournament 5 times already. After their comprehensive 86-run victory over New Zealand on Saturday, the defending champions find themselves on the top of the World Cup points table and have already secured a semi-final berth. The successful returns of banned duo Steven Smith and David Warner notwithstanding, there has been an unstoppable force which is responsible for the change in team’s fortunes – Mitchell Starc.Starc took his 2nd 5-wicket haul in World Cup 2019 against New Zealand, taking his tournament tally to 24. If you add his 22 scalps from the 2015 edition, Starc with 46 wickets now lies 6th in the all-time list of highest wicket-takers in World Cup history. That’s a surreal feat for a player who has just featured in 2 World Cups.Top 5 wicket-takers in World Cup history (matches in brackets):Glenn McGrath – 71(39)Muttiah Muralitharan – 68(40)Wasim Akram – 55(38)Lasith Malinga – 52(27)Chaminda Vaas – 49(31)Mitchell Starc – 46(16)Starc now has his compatriot Glenn McGrath’s World Cup record of most wickets in a single edition (26 wickets in 2007), firmly in sights and the luxury of a possible 3 more matches this year to surpass it. But the bowler himself has the bigger picture in mind.advertisementAt the post-match press conference, when asked about what overtaking McGrath would mean for him, Starc replied: “Not much if we don’t win the World Cup.” But the kind of success Australia are enjoying at the moment, one shouldn’t be surprised if Starc overtaking McGrath coincides with a 6th World Cup glory for his side.A few months ago, Starc was not even part of the side when Australia started their ODI resurgence while securing a 3-2 ODI series win in India. Starc was still nursing niggles when Australia next blanked Pakistan 5-0 in UAE.”From all reports, it’s been a fantastic feel around the group in the UAE and India,” Starc said after the New Zealand game, “and to play some fantastic cricket heading into that April break, was probably the momentum that the group was after heading into this tournament.”Now with another World Cup title in his sights and a chance to break the record of arguably the best fast bowler ever, Starc can only be expected to up the ante in the semi-final. Opposition batsmen beware, an unstoppable force is coming.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Australia seal top 2 finish after thrashing New Zealand at Lord’sAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Aaron Finch hails Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja after Australia beat New Zealandlast_img

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