Mitchell Starc has come under severe criticism from all quarters in the recent past with several former Australian cricketers taking shots but the speedster has managed to shut the outside noise as he continued to crank up the pace in the ongoing Test against Sri Lanka.
Starc hit speeds in excess of 150kph consistently to return figures of 5/54 in Sri Lanka’s first innings of the second Test and even though he knows his place isn’t secure after a summer where he hasn’t been at his best, he insisted he does not need to listen to all the outside noise to know that.
“I don’t think your spot is ever safe," Starc said on cricket.com.au’s Facebook Live chat this morning. “I know I haven’t been at my best, I don’t need to listen to all the outside noise to know that.
“I’ve played enough cricket now to know when I’m at my best and when I’m not. The change room has been great, not just with myself but for everyone throughout the summer.
“It’s been a very close-knit group. I think that’s one thing this group can be really proud of, is how we’ve stuck by one another through the good times and the tougher times and it’s happened again this week, we saw three fantastic efforts on day one and day two and to get around the boys the last couple of nights has been fantastic, to see the smiles on their faces and for us as team to celebrate their success as well."
Starc clocked 154 kph during one of his hostile spells late on the second evening and continued to up the pace on the third morning. When asked what he put the elevated pace down to, Starc said it was the rhythm and a clear head.
“Just my rhythm I think," he said, “Just sort of clearing my head a little bit and trying to bowl fast. I’m just trying to focus on one thing and hopefully getting everything else to click.
“The rhythm felt really good. I had the young fella (Richardson) telling me he was going to catch me on the ‘speedo’ (speed gun) and he can keep dreaming for a couple more days yet.
“For me yesterday it was just trying to run in and feel smooth, bowl fast and try and create something there on a flat wicket. “It felt pretty good yesterday. It’s a pretty flat wicket and if I can offer something there with a bit more air speed that’s a role I’m happy to play."
“I just strained some ligaments in there unfortunately, trying to flick one out on the boundary last week," he said. “Other than that, it’s feeling pretty good for as tough a summer and as long in the field as it has been for the guys.
“It was unfortunate to see Josh (Hazlewood) go down but for everyone else we’re all feeling pretty good. And another three days of tough Test cricket and hopefully we can finish off the summer on a good win."