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News

Starc: 'I'll drop off white-ball cricket before I let go of Test cricket'

The left-arm quick is certain he won't be around for the next ODI World Cup, but he won't quit ODIs immediately

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
13-Nov-2023
Mitchell Starc has prioritised Test cricket over white-ball cricket  •  Getty Images

Mitchell Starc has prioritised Test cricket over white-ball cricket  •  Getty Images

Mitchell Starc is not viewing the knockout stages of this World Cup as the swansong of his ODI career but has reiterated that it will be white-ball cricket that makes way first with a view to playing Tests for as long as possible.
Although Starc, who has 230 ODI wickets at 23.17, is certain he won't be around for the next 50-over World Cup in 2027, when he will be 37, he won't be ditching the format immediately. Australia's next ODIs are against West Indies in February but they don't have anymore scheduled until a tour of England next September. There is a Champions Trophy due to be played in Pakistan in 2025.
"I'll look to keep playing after this, but I don't doubt that I won't be making the next World Cup. I've no vision for that. Four years is a long," he told reporters in Kolkata. "I've always maintained that Test cricket is the top of the tree for me and I'll drop off the rest before I let go of Test cricket. For me [the semi-final] is just another one-day game for Australia, it's not the end of the road in one-day cricket as yet for me."
Starc will be hoping to help Australia get past South Africa in Thursday's semi-final to earn a spot in another World Cup final on November 19 during a tournament that has been much more of a struggle than his prolific 2015 and 2019 performances.
He has taken 10 wickets at 43.90 with an economy rate of 6.55 and conceded he had been below his best. But he revealed he has been carrying some niggles since the Ashes without specifically saying if they were related to the groin and shoulder problems he picked up in England, with the former keeping him out of the South Africa in September. He also noted he was not alone among quick bowlers having a difficult World Cup.
"I certainly haven't been at the level I would have liked…or not the same level as the last two World Cups anyway, but now a chance at the pointy end to impact again," he said.
"Certainly bowling first on particular wickets, the new ball with two fielders out I think has been almost the hardest time to bowl. You get a bit of an understanding of the wicket as the game goes on…that's not a sob story, that's the nature of one-day cricket.
"You've got two brand new balls on flat wickets, that's the nature of the World Cup if you look at the runs scored, or certainly centuries scored, as opposed to five wickets taken, the ratios are heavily skewed. Bowlers just have to find a way."
Starc was rested for the final group game against Bangladesh and said the decision was largely taken out of his hands.
"The way we started meant we couldn't rest anyone earlier in the campaign being 0-2. Had the chance with securing the semi-final spot the other night. Glenn [Maxwell] after his knock and his cramping needed a bit of a rest and I didn't have much of a say in my decision. I've carried a few things from the Ashes and it was a chance before the semi-finals."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo