New South Wales quickie Mitchell Starc not only shares a first name with Mitchell Johnson but is literally a clone of the Aussie speedster while bowling. However, what the apprentice would love to do is to clone the latter’s performances as well on the cricket field.
One of the most exciting prospects to have emerged from the Australian domestic cricket, Starc is a tall left-armer who can bowl in the mid-140s with a propensity to cause problems with his pace and bounce. He made his first-class debut in 2008-09 but it was his performances in the following season that brought him under the selectors' radar. He took 21 wickets in eight Sheffield Shield games and also proved a handful in the limited-overs format.
Starc earned his first international call-up for Australia’s 2010 tour to India, debuting in an ODI. He is still very young with room for improvement obvious, but he has shown enough potential in a short period to allow Australia to rest some of its hope on him. In 2012, Starc was signed by the Sydney Sixers for the inaugural Big Bash League, followed by the Champions League T20. In the Test series in India in 2013, Mitchell Starc proved why Australia bat so deep down when he fell just one short of a maiden Test ton. In the 2014 Indian T20 league, he was bought by Bangalore.
Having earned heaps of rewards in the limited overs, Starc struggled in Tests. He had a rough summer in 2014 against the Indians and was labelled by the great Shane Warne as a 'soft' character. That seemed to spice Starc up. He showcased his abilities in the 2015 ICC World Cup early on, taking 6 wickets against New Zealand, nearly helping Australia defend a modest 151.
Starc went on to shine in the tournament, emerging as the joint leading wicket-taker with Kiwi paceman Trent Boult, with 22 scalps at an average of 10.18. In the most important game of the mega event, the final, having been set up against the Kiwis again, Starc set the tone early - removing opposition skipper Brendon McCullum with a corker of a yorker, cleaning up for a duck. His efforts earned him the 'Man Of The Tournament' award.