How pre-Cup rest got Mitch ready for main event
An injury-enforced rest looks to have done wonders for Mitchell Starc with the big Aussie quick taking the World Cup by storm and reviving memories of his 2015 heroics. SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Struggling for rhythm and stuck down by injury at the end of the home summer, Starc missed the one-day tours of India and UAE.
The 29-year-old put the time to good use.
He gradually rebuilt the strength in his pectoral muscle, all the time trying to regain the feel in his action and release from when he was at his peak in the 2015 World Cup.
Starc now hasn't just matched his player-of-the-tournament achievements, he's surpassed them.
The left-arm quick has gone past the 22 wickets he took at home in 2015 with 24 for this year's tournament at 15.54 as it at times appears he can do no wrong.
"I think that's exactly how his career has gone," Australia's assistant coach Brad Haddin said.
"He's gone through stages in 2015 where no matter what he did turned to gold. And it looks like he is one of those passages of form at the moment.
"He's done a lot of work going into the tournament.
"He was injured leading in. You never like to see players get injured but it was probably a good thing.
"It let him reset where he was and he has come back fit and strong and we're getting the rewards."
Haddin knows the prowess of Starc's 2015 campaign as well as anyone, having stood by the stumps for each of his wickets.
He's also seen Starc since his young days at NSW, having kept wicket in his 50-over debut for the Blues back in 2009.
"One thing I have been impressed with Mitch has been the length he's been bowling," Haddin said.
"He's got that unbelievable yorker and he can go through a tail and a middle of the game really quick.
"But I've been impressed with how he's using the new ball. He's got that length right and a lot of work has gone in to that."