Australian left-arm quick Mitchell Starc on Monday made it clear that he has no plans to play the next World Cup though he will not quit ODI cricket just yet. Starc, who will be 37 by the time the next World Cup is played in South Africa, was part of Australia’s 2015 ODI and 2021 T20 triumphs. But this time around, he has been below-par, bagging 10 wickets at an average of 43.90.
“I’ll look to keep playing after this, but I don’t doubt that I won’t be making the next World Cup. I’ve no vision for that. Four years is a long (time),” he told reporters at the team hotel.
Australia have limited ODI engagements next year with a series against the West Indies in February and then the next one is not before September when they tour England.
Starc said it’s the Test cricket which will be his first priority.
“I’ve always maintained that Test cricket is the top of the tree for me and I’ll drop off the rest before I let go of Test cricket. For me (the World Cup semifinal) is just another one-day game for Australia, it’s not the end of the road in one-day cricket as yet for me,” he added.
Blaming the “flat wickets” for his below-par show in this World Cup, Starc said, “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 said.
“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.”
Would be fit for Thursday
Starc, who is carrying niggles since the Ashes and was rested for Australia’s last league match of the World Cup against Bangladesh, was seen training with teammates during Monday’s optional session ahead of the Thursday’s semifinal.
“I didn’t have much of a say in the decision (of being rested). I’ve carried a few things from the Ashes and it was a chance to give them an extra chance (to recover) before the semifinals.”
He further insisted that he would be fine to play in Thursday’s semifinal against South Africa in Kolkata.
“If I only played when I was 100 per cent, I would have probably played 10 games,” he said. “All bowlers around the world deal with stuff, we just don’t have to talk about it like batters do.”
Excited to play in front of a packed Eden crowd, he said, “Whether it’s goosebumps or not, it’s just another game… I’ve played a lot of one-day cricket…(performing in big matches) is not something that’s really spoken about.
“It’s a very calm group, this one, and fairly experienced with a couple of younger, less experienced guys gelling in really nicely,” he signed off.