Starc claims No. 300 with a trademark inswinger

The left-arm quick's landmark wicket came before lunch on the second day at the Gabba

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Mitchell Starc secured another landmark  •  Getty Images

Mitchell Starc secured another landmark  •  Getty Images

Mitchell Starc became the seventh Australian to claim 300 Test wickets when he removed Rassie van der Dussen on the second day at the Gabba with a trademark inswinger which demolished the stumps.
Having been poised on 299 after South Africa's first innings, Starc produced a magnificent ball which swung back into van der Dussen shortly before lunch, zipping through a huge gap between bat and pad.
"It was nice to pull a nice ball out," Starc said. I said to Patty [Cummins] I felt like I could get him that way, the way he's set up. I'll definitely take that as a nice ball to bring it up with. It's something to be proud of. It's something I will reflect on later. Just really pleased to have a good Test match win."
The landmark came on the ground where Starc had made his Test debut, against New Zealand in 2011, and claimed Brendon McCullum as his first wicket.
"I'm not sure I'd get one wicket let alone 300," Starc had said in the lead-up to the Test. "It's been an interesting but very enjoyable journey. Hopefully there's a bit more left in it."
He had entered the game on 296 scalps and despite a somewhat indifferent start in the first innings he soon added to his tally when Dean Elgar gloved down the leg side.
He then ended South Africa's recovery, which came through a fifth-wicket stand of 98, when Temba Bavuma got a thin inside edge into his stumps against a delivery that shaped back nicely. No. 299 came when Keshav Maharaj sent an edge low to second slip.
The landmark moment was delayed, however, when Travis Head spilled a sharp chance at short leg from Kagiso Rabada then he was withdrawn from the attack before the innings ended. "Trav was the first one to run in and say you'd rather take it like that than him catching it," Starc joked after the 300th.
Starc joined Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Lyon, Dennis Lillee, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee on 300 Test wickets. He has comfortably the best strike-rate among that list at 49.5.
"You can talk about strike rate, average, all those things," Cummins said. "[But] the longevity you've got to have to get 300 as a fast bowler, the injuries you've got to overcome…you've seen it all by the time you get 300. Personally I've seen him a lot mending scars and bruises and blisters in the change room. You see the toil behind the wickets and performances. It puts him right in the upper echelon of great Aussie bowlers. Now he's nipping the ball a bit more. I reckon his next 300 will come pretty quickly."
Starc's 100th wicket came against Sri Lanka in 2016 when he claimed Kusal Perera and his 200th against the same opponents, and also at the Gabba, when he removed Suranga Lakmal in 2019.
With Starc reaching 300 wickets he means Australia now have two with at least that many - Nathan Lyon is well ahead on xx - while Pat Cummins also has over 200. In the first Test against West Indies last month, Australia became the first side in history to have four bowlers with at least 200 wickets play together. Of that quartets, Josh Hazlewood has been injured for the last two matches.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo