Mitchell Starc


Personal Information
Jan 30, 1990 (33 years)
Birth Place
Baulkham Hills, Sydney, New South Wales
1.96 m
Batting Style
Left Handed Bat
Bowling Style
Left-arm fast
ICC Rankings
Career Information
Australia, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers, Yorkshire, Australians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sydney Thunder, Kolkata Knight Riders, Australia A, Finch XI, Kolkata Knight Riders
Mitchell Starc – a name that strikes fear into the hearts of contemporary batsmen. It is hard to fathom that the tall and skinny lad from Sydney, who was once an aspiring wicketkeeper in j...
Full profile
Batting Career Summary
M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 200 50 4s 6s
Test 85 121 26 2010 99 21.16 3210 62.62 0 0 10 201 46
ODI 121 71 25 571 52 12.41 719 79.42 0 0 1 42 14
T20I 58 19 9 94 14 9.4 93 101.08 0 0 0 4 2
IPL 27 12 5 96 29 13.71 98 97.96 0 0 0 10 0
Bowling Career Summary
M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI BBM Econ Avg SR 5W 10W
Test 85 161 16664 9444 343 6/50 11/94 3.40 27.53 48.58 14 2
ODI 121 121 6240 5421 236 6/28 6/28 5.21 22.97 26.44 9 0
T20I 58 58 1314 1673 73 4/20 4/20 7.64 22.92 18.0 0 0
IPL 27 26 580 693 34 4/15 4/15 7.17 20.38 17.06 0 0
Career Information
Mitchell Starc – a name that strikes fear into the hearts of contemporary batsmen. It is hard to fathom that the tall and skinny lad from Sydney, who was once an aspiring wicketkeeper in junior cricket, would one day become the most menacing sight for the world's best batsmen.
Legend has it that a tall, lanky 14-year-old was spotted by a club coach trying out as a wicketkeeper for the Western Suburbs. He pulled the young man aside and demanded that he ditch the wicketkeeping mitts – and that he would teach him how to bowl. The AFL's fabled method of scouting a body-type and building a particular skill around it seemed to be at work again, as it tends to work in favour of the player's ability and aptitude.

It is a tried and tested method. Case in point: three decades ago, Dennis Lillee, then in charge of the MRF pace foundation, told a 14-year-old Indian boy of short stature that he couldn't be a fast bowler. Following the incident, the aspiring fast bowler changed lanes and took up batting. We all know how that turned out...

Starc, the teenager, seemed to have grasped fast-bowling quite quickly, picking up the fundamentals from the aforementioned coach, Neil D'Costa, and bowling at 135km/h by the time he was 16. In addition to athletic ability, he was said to have great discipline and an undying thirst for knowledge. Most crucially, however, he was a great listener, according to D'Costa. Soon after, he was selected for the New South Wales U-17s, and continued to rise through the ranks.

After impressive performances in junior cricket, he was finally handed a Sheffield Shield debut for the New South Wales at the age of 19 but managed just 2 wickets in the match. In the following Shield season, he took 21 wickets in 8 matches including an impressive 5/74 against Queensland. The first run of consistent performances by Starc came in the domestic One-Day tournament when he took 26 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 8.12, striking once every 12 balls. Starc was named the player of the tournament, as the young prodigy catapulted his team to victory. This proved to be the turning point in his career and finally propelled him into the limelight for national selection.

At 20, Starc was named in the squad as a backup quick bowler for the short Test series in India in late 2010. Unfortunately, he didn't get his hands on the coveted Baggy Green during that tour, as the Aussies already had a left-arm pacer, Mitchell Johnson, in their playing XI. Right-arm bowler Peter George was given preference over him in the second Test and Starc had to be content with warming the bench and bowling in the nets.

Owing to a plethora of injuries in the team and stellar domestic performances, he finally received the Baggy Green, playing New Zealand at the Gabba in late 2011. His debut Test was largely underwhelming, as he leaked runs at an alarming rate and took only 2 wickets in the match. He took 2 further wickets in the succeeding Hobart Test and didn't impress much with his control, clocking in the higher 130s, struggling to swing the Kookaburra, and most importantly, lacking intensity. He continued to get limited chances, as he was dropped from the squad for the first two home Tests against India, but got his opportunity in the third Test on a hostile Perth wicket. He fared much better on this tour, showing better control and the ability to move the ball both ways in the air. Most notably, he had the great Sachin Tendular playing down the wrong line and got him out LBW.

However, he still hadn't performed well enough to cement his spot in the side, given the fiercely competitive assembly of fast-bowlers in the Australian circuit. To sharpen his skills and increase his versatility, he needed to travel and acclimatize himself to different conditions. He went to England and had a stint in county cricket with Yorkshire to learn the nuances and finer points of swinging the Dukes ball.

There was something that he did right in England. Because the man who returned was Mitchell Starc 2.0.

Upon return to international cricket, he notched up three 5-wicket hauls in quick succession against the West Indies and Pakistan in early 2014, thereby cementing his spot in the ODI side. This ensured that he got more backing with the red cherry as well, but things weren't quite as smooth-sailing in Tests, especially because he was hit by a string of injuries during the 2013/14 season. To make things worse, Starc went wicketless in 4 out of 10 Test innings leading up to 2nd innings of the Brisbane Test against India in December 2014.

After another wicketless performance, which was becoming the talk of the town amongst the critics, Shane Warne publicly made a statement urging Starc 'to change his body-language' and that he seemed 'too soft'. This could've been meant as constructive criticism or a spiteful comment. He also had the looming prospect of the upcoming World Cup in mind.
Something had lit a fire under him.

He was not content with being the ODI spearhead. He was working on his Test game and wanted to establish himself as the leader of the attack in all forms of the game. The Carlton tri-series, about a month before the World Cup, was a sign of things to come. He was the highest wicket-taker of the series, bagging a best of 6/43 and a total of 12 wickets with his searing yorkers. But the stats won't tell you about the pace he had put on, hurling in toe-crushers at close to 150km/h. This was the trial run of the Frankenstein's monster; the calm before the storm.

And thus began the fairy tale of Mitchell Aaron Starc.

The monster was unleashed upon the unsuspecting teams, who had just landed Down Under for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Starc tore through batting line-ups consistently, generating express pace throughout the tournament and tormenting batsmen with a blend of chin music and searing toe-crushing yorkers. His dream-run continued in the World Cup final as he returned with miserly figures of 8-1-20-2. More importantly, he picked up the prized scalp of Brendon McCullum, who had been ferocious against the new ball throughout the tournament, for a duck.

Unsurprisingly, he was declared the man of the tournament, picking up 22 wickets in the tournament at an average of 10.18 and a startling economy rate of 3.50 (in a tournament which saw twenty-eight 300+ totals and three 400+ totals being scored). Starc shot to the number 1 spot in the ICC ODI rankings after the break-through World Cup campaign. He consequently joined a league of extraordinary gentlemen (which includes Glenn McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar) to have won the Man of the Tournament award in a World Cup.

The World Cup was a landmark tournament for Starc, and it was only after he had established himself as the spearhead of the Australian attack in all formats, that he finally opened himself up to the IPL in 2014. Starc garnered a lot of praise for prioritizing international duties over franchise-based T20 cricket. 2015 continued to be his golden year in terms of numbers as well as fitness, as he broke the 160km/h barrier against New Zealand at WACA Test in November 2015. He picked up the highest number of international wickets in the 2015 calendar year as well (87) and continued his upward climb, establishing himself as an indispensable asset for Australian cricket.

After a series of injuries, especially to his landing foot, he started to pick and choose his series, resting himself enough to play the more important series. He strengthened his away record in the 2016 Test series in Sri Lanka, picking up career-best figures of 11/94 at Galle, albeit in a losing cause. In the closely fought Ashes in 2015, Starc impressed again with 18 wickets, the highest wicket-taker for the Australians in the series (second-highest overall), further improving his overseas credentials.

In February 2017, Starc parted ways with the Royal Challengers Bangalore to focus on international cricket, once again exhibiting that the national team remains his first priority. He was the third-highest wicket-taker in the inaugural Big Bash League, picking up 13 wickets and leading the Sixers to the title with his fiery bowling.

During the build-up to the 2017/18 Ashes in Australia, Starc once again pulled off the unfathomable, picking up 2 hat-tricks in a Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia in Sydney, becoming the first man to achieve this feat. His dismissal of James Vince in the 2nd innings of the Perth Test was hailed as 'the ball of the 21st century': it was headed to go down leg side, hit a crack, and deviated almost half a meter(42cm) to hit the top of off-stump. More importantly, it was a crucial wicket in the context of the match, as Vince had made a half-century and was well on course to pull off a blockathon to save the Test.

Starc started off his 2019 World Cup campaign with a bang as he picked up 5 wickets in a game against the West Indies that his team went on to win. He went on to scalp two 5-fers and eventually finished the tournament with 27 wickets - an all-time World Cup record. In the subsequent Ashes, Starc only played one Test as Australia chose to rotate their fast bowlers around.

He was a part of Australia’s squad for the twin T20 World Cups of 2021 and 2022 but didn’t have any performances of note. Come the Ashes again, however, and Starc was back at his best. In the 2021-22 Ashes, Starc was the 2nd-highest wicket-taker with 19 wickets from 5 games. He was also instrumental with the bat - scoring invaluable runs down the order. His batting tally read 155 runs at an average of 38.75, quite remarkable considering he batted lower down the order.

Multiple different injuries continued to plague Starc. When he was fit and ready though, he was always a part of Australia’s setup across formats. The Ashes once again brought the best out of Starc and he ended the 2023 edition as the leading wicket-taker with 23 wickets.
After recovering in time from a niggle, Starc was named in Australia’s squad for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Being an express-pace bowler, he might not top too many all-time wicket-taking charts; but he has already etched his name in history as one of Australia's greatest fast bowlers.

Interesting facts:
- Starc is of Slovenian descent.
- Mitchell's younger brother, Brandon, is an Olympic high-jumper, having represented Australia in the Rio games in 2016 (Game of Thrones reference, anyone?).
- When Starc toured India in 2013, he was dismissed for a heart-breaking 99 in the Mohali Test. In the same Test, he also became the first batsman lower-order batsman (positions 9-11) to have survived over 100 balls in each innings.
- Starc got married to Alyssa Healy (a wicketkeeper for the Australian womens' team and niece of former Australia glovesman, Ian Healy) on the 15th of April 2015, 17 days after lifting the World Cup trophy at the MCG.

Written by Rishi Roy
Move to top