Mitchell Starc eyes Test glory, waves goodbye to ODI World Cups after 2023

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Amidst the ongoing World Cup, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc is considering his future in white-ball cricket. Contrary to popular belief, Starc is not considering the current World Cup as his farewell from ODIs. Instead, he is focused on continuing to play Test cricket and sees it as his top priority.

Starc, who has taken 230 ODI wickets with an average of 23.17, is determined that he will not be a part of the next 50-over World Cup in 2027. At 37, he acknowledges that four years is a long time, but he remains firm in his decision.

“I plan to keep playing after this, but I am certain that I won’t be participating in the next World Cup. I don’t have any plans for that. Four years is a long time,” he stated as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

Speaking in Kolkata, Starc emphasized, “I have always maintained that Test cricket is my top priority, and I will give up the rest before I give up Test cricket. For me, [the semi-final] is just another one-day game for Australia; it’s not the end of the road in one-day cricket for me yet.”

Despite upcoming ODIs against West Indies in February, Starc’s focus remains on Test cricket. Australia’s next ODIs are scheduled for September on a tour of England, with a Champions Trophy in Pakistan set for 2025.

Assessing his performance in the current World Cup, Starc admitted that he has not performed at his desired level, citing the challenges fast bowlers face in the tournament. “I certainly haven’t been at the level I would have liked…or not the same level as the last two World Cups anyway, but now a chance at the pointy end to impact again,” he shared.

Starc, on the nature of One day cricket 

Recognizing the difficulties of the format, he pointed out, “Certainly bowling first on particular wickets, the new ball with two fielders out I think has been almost the hardest time to bowl. You get a bit of an understanding of the wicket as the game goes on…that’s not a sob story, that’s the nature of one-day cricket.

“You’ve got two brand new balls on flat wickets, that’s the nature of the World Cup if you look at the runs scored, or certainly centuries scored, as opposed to five wickets taken, the ratios are heavily skewed. Bowlers just have to find a way,” he added.

Leading up to the semi-final against South Africa, Starc, who was rested in the final group game against Bangladesh, hinted that he was carrying niggles from the Ashes, indicating that the decision to rest him was necessary for the upcoming crucial clash.

“The way we started meant we couldn’t rest anyone earlier in the campaign being 0-2. Had the chance with securing the semi-final spot the other night. Glenn [Maxwell] after his knock and his cramping needed a bit of a rest and I didn’t have much of a say in my decision. I’ve carried a few things from the Ashes and it was a chance before the semi-finals,” he concluded.

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