WI vs AUS | Great opportunity to get a bit of rhythm of T20 cricket before World T20, admits Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc, who would be returning to the T20I setup, has admitted that it is a great opportunity for him to get into a bit of rhythm before the World T20 in October. Starc also revealed that his preparation for the white-ball series revolves around shorter spells and variations with the ball.

Despite having made his T20I debut in 2012, Mitchell Starc has just made his appearance in one T20 World Cup, in 2012, as he missed the 2016 edition of the competition with an injury. Ahead of the 2021 edition of the tournament, which will be played in the Middle East, the pacer has made his return in the shortest format, after playing just the one T20I against India earlier last year.

Starc, who has only played 35 T20Is for Australia since 2012, admitted that the West Indies series is a great opportunity for him to get into a bit of rhythm before the multi-team competition in October. He also added that it would be welcoming to brush off the T20I rust, with the Men in Yellow expected to play 10 T20s in the next few weeks.

“It’s a great opportunity for the group to start preparing with a bit more focus on that World Cup. Don’t think I’ve played 10 T20s in the last four years let alone in the space of a few weeks so personally it would be nice to get a bit of a rhythm of T20 cricket,” said Starc, reported ESPNCricinfo.

Starc, who missed the Indian T20Is due to injury, was later named in the Test squad that was set to take on South Africa. However, owing to the outbreak of the virus, Cricket Australia decided against touring South Africa, which then ruled him out of the limited-overs series against New Zealand.

But Starc insisted that his sights would be on white-ball cricket, considering the schedule. The left-arm pacer also added that the preparation would be around bowling shorter spells, remaining unpredictable and developing and using a lot of variations, something that the pacers have had to do due to the evolution of the shorter version.

“The back end of the summer I was heavily focused on the red-ball so put the white-ball to the side. To prepare for this tour it’s all been white-ball focused with what’s coming up in the next few months. Preparing for shorter spells, more of a focus on staying unpredictable or [using] variations. I don’t change a whole lot in my preparation across the formats but certainly they’ll be a lot more planning and focus on tactically what we’ll take on this series.”

For the all-format players, they would be put in a serious dilemma if Australia qualify for the final of the World T20, with them only having 13 days before the one-off historic Test against Afghanistan.

“Throws up another hurdle with quarantining after a World Cup and the tight turnaround we might be faced with, but the multi-format players have all played cricket for quite a while now and have experienced the same situation in slightly difference circumstances before,” he added.

However, the 31-year-old insisted that the few multi-format players want to play as much cricket as they can and admitted that Test cricket is certainly the pinnacle for them. However, Starc admitted that the T20 World Cup would be on the same level, making it hard to pick and choose for him.

“But for the few multi-format players we all want to play as much cricket as we can, Test cricket is certainly the pinnacle for a lot of us, certainly it is for me, as is a World Cup so it will be hard to pick and choose.”

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