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India beware: Mitchell Starc has his groove back and is aiming to replicate his spectacular 2015 World Cup form throughout the home summer.
Starc’s rapid pace and ability to generate swing with the new ball have made him one of the most-feared quicks of his generation, but patches of inconsistency – partly influenced by injuries – have left him searching for answers.
The left-armer has been working closely with national bowling coach David Saker on reproducing the swing-yielding action that had netted him 22 wickets and player-of-the-tournament honours during Australia’s World Cup triumph.
And there were positive signs on day one of the first Test against India when Starc had the red Kookaburra moving considerably through the air, finishing with 2-63 at Adelaide Oval as the tourists limped to stumps on Thursday at 9-250.
“I’ve been trying a few different things with David Saker, looking at how I bowled in 2015 throughout that World Cup and trying to perhaps get over my front leg a bit more,” he said.
“Little things have worked and, hopefully, the swing that I’ve got the last couple of weeks hangs around for the summer.
“There’s little things I’ve tried over the last little while that have worked for little periods. This one seems to be working for a bit longer … just little changes and perhaps little cues that I used to have and unknowingly went away from.”
Starc’s mission to retain consistency in his action had been made difficult by injuries including a stress reaction in his lower leg earlier this year during the tour of South Africa.
“We had a little bit of a chat months ago now, prior to the UAE tour (against Pakistan in October), about how my action had probably changed, bowling through niggles and periods where I’d been sore,” he said.
“There were times where I’d collapse on my knee to try and get through when I was sore.
“The way I bowled at the World Cup in 2015, I got the ball swinging around and was bowling at good pace. That’s something I’ve tried to find a way to get back to.”