Mitchell Starc has been in outstanding form in the ICC World Cup 2019 so far. After four-plus wicket hauls against West Indies, Sri Lanka and England, Starc demolished New Zealand in Australia's win over their neighbours at Lord's on Saturday.
Chasing 244 for a win, New Zealand seemed to be cruising as Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor made a half-century stand. But Starc returned to the attack and dismissed Williamson for 40 in the 26th over to bring Australia back into the game.
He went on to dismiss Tom Latham, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson and Mitchell Santner to finish with his second five-wicket haul in the tournament.
Quite often in this World Cup, Starc has come back with the old ball to pick up wickets of key batsmen. Against India, he got rid of Shikhar Dhawan for 117. Against West Indies, he picked up the crucial wickets of Jason Holder and Andre Russell in a close run-chase. He dismissed Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis against Sri Lanka after the opposition had got off to a good start.
Against Bangladesh in another close run-chase, he dismissed Tamim Iqbal who had settled down and made a half-century. Against England, he sent back a well-settled Ben Stokes with a searing yorker to sway the game Australia's way. On Saturday, he prized out the key wicket of Kane Williamson and added Tom Latham's to dent New Zealand further.
One quality that has stood out in this World Cup is that Starc has been equally effective against the top-order and the tail. 13 of his 24 wickets in this World Cup have come against proper batsmen (positions 1-6). He has also enjoyed considerable success against openers, dismissing them a total of five times.
With 24 wickets in the World Cup so far, Starc is the tournament's highest wicket-taker and by some distance. Behind him comes Lockie Ferguson with 17 wickets and Jofra Archer with 16.
Starc's 24 wickets have come at a stunning strike rate of 18.5 and in 50% of the matches, the Australian has grabbed four wickets or more.
After the match against New Zealand, Starc has also gone past his tally of 22 wickets in the 2015 World Cup - the joint most alongside Trent Boult then. He has a good record in ICC tournaments, particularly the World Cups.
His tally of 46 World Cup wickets is the sixth best in the history of the tournament. No bowler with at least 15 wickets in World Cups has a better strike rate than Starc's 18.
No bowler in the history of the tournament has more five-wicket hauls - three with two in the 2019 tournament - either. Starc's 46 World Cup wickets have come at an astounding average of 12.97.
This year's edition has seen him overshadow his bowling counterparts in the Australian side. Pat Cummins with 12 wickets is Australia's next best bowler but he has only half the number of wickets Starc has.
The left-arm seamer has underlined his value to the side with big wickets in key moments and is well on course to end another World Cup as the top wicket-taker.