Starc’s sights are set on the ‘world’s best.’ India as the Australian attack reaches its peak

Starc’s sights are set on the ‘world’s best.’ India as the Australian attack reaches its peak

Just moments after guiding Australia to a semi-final victory, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc was already looking ahead to India’s challenge in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final.
Starc batted alongside captain Pat Cummins to help Australia defeat South Africa by three wickets.

The left-armer, however, had the most impact with the ball, turning the screw alongside new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood to leave the Proteas reeling at 24/4.

“It’s probably not been the tournament I would have liked from the get-go, but it’s nice to step up in a big game,” said Starc. “And I believe our powerplay was what got us going.

“There were other key moments with bat and ball throughout the day.” But for Joshie and me to start the game like that, powerplay wickets have probably not been our strong suit throughout the tournament, so it’s nice to have a powerplay of, what, two for 18, or something like that.”

The opening pair’s unwavering quality kept South Africa to 18/2 after ten overs, with Hazlewood taking 1/6 and Starc taking 1/10 in their five overs each.

However, a typically modest Starc was eager to talk about his bowling partner, despite the fact that both went on to take additional wickets, with Hazlewood dismissing Rassie van der Dussen and Starc dismissing Aiden Markram and later Keshav Maharaj.

“The way Josh bowled throughout to finish two for 12 (from eight overs) was incredible,” Starc said, finishing with 3/34 from ten.

“Looking at Josh’s pitch map, I believe that’s what he does so well in Test Match bowling.” He was fantastic today, and the way we ran off each other to get that powerplay and carry some momentum through the middle was exactly how we wanted to start matches. It was great to do it in such a big game.”

The new-ball pair will undoubtedly play a significant role in Australia’s victory over the tournament hosts in Sunday’s final.

India’s top three, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli, have all had impressive tournaments, scoring mountains of runs to propel their team to the final.

But Starc says he’s already looking forward to facing India’s top order.

“It’s the reason we play the game.” We want to compete with the best. They’ve been the best in the tournament so far, and we’re both in the final.

“That is the point of World Cups.” You want to take on the best throughout the tournament, and we certainly come up against a team that has clearly led from the start and is undefeated.

“We played them in the first game of the tournament (which India won by six wickets), and now we get to play them in the championship game.” So, what a place to be at the conclusion of a World Cup!”

On Sunday, a record and partisan crowd is expected in Ahmedabad, but Starc says both sides are used to performing under pressure on big occasions.

“Certainly, guys in both locker rooms have been there before in various formats.” Both teams met earlier this year in the [World Test Championship] Final (which Australia won at The Oval in London). I don’t believe either changing room is new to big events.

The men’s teams of India and Australia have previously met in a World Cup Final, with the Aussies coming out on top in Johannesburg in 2003.

And, while Starc is undoubtedly excited about the prospect of facing India on Sunday, he is unlikely to recall that match from when he was 13 years old.

“Apart from Australia winning, I don’t know what happened in that game,” he told reporters.

“It was 2003, and I was probably sleeping.” I’m not sure; I can’t recall what I did two weeks ago!”




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