Mitchell Starc feat exposes massive World Cup regret for Australia

Mitchell Starc is pictured during the second ODI game between Australia and England.
Mitchell Starc's ODI dominance against England has lead to suggestions Australia bungled his use during the T20 World Cup. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc's ruthlessness with the new ball in Australia's second straight ODI victory over England this week has exposed a glaring strategic failure in the recent T20 World Cup.

Australia secured victory in the best of three ODI series with a 72-run victory over England, set up by four-wicket spells from both Starc and Adam Zampa.

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The hosts also built a considerable innings on the back of Steve Smith's impressive knock of 94 from 114 deliveries - but it was Starc who set an immediate tone when Australia took to the field.

After losing the new ball during the T20 World Cup and ultimately being controversially dropped for Australia's critical match against Afghanistan, Starc looked a new man against England on Saturday.

He removed both England openers, Jason Roy and Dawid Malan, in the first over of the innings, setting an ominous tone for the T20 World Cup champions.

With Australia having comprehensively won the ODI series, attention has turned to the way Starc was used throughout the T20 World Cup, having provided a timely reminder of his effectiveness with the new ball.

“Further proof that Mitchell Starc and the new ball are a couple that should never be split up,” high-profile cricket writer Bharat Sundaresan wrote on Twitter, with Telegraph writer Tim Wigore also suggesting Australia had missed a trick with Starc.

“His non-selection against Afghanistan when Australia needed to win big in the T20 World Cup seems even odder," he wrote.

Fellow Australian cricket star and Starc's wife, Alyssa Healy, was also asked about his omission from the Afghanistan game in the wake of his devastating first over.

She said it was obviously a disappointment that he didn't play, believing Starc would have helped Australia bolster the run-rate that ultimately saw them eliminated in the group stage.

“I think naturally anyone sitting on the sideline would’ve been disappointed," she said.

“Knowing that the Aussies had to win, and win it well, you want to stick your hand up and do that job for Australia.

“He’s got a good opportunity to come out now with the new ball and do his thing.”

Australia trounce England in second ODI to win series easily

While James Vince (60) and Sam Billings (71) put the visitors back in the chase, Adam Zampa (4-45) and Starc killed off any chance of an England win to have them all out for 208.

The left-armer bowled with fire at the SCG and swung the ball early, getting Jason Roy caught behind down the legside before beating Dawid Malan's edge to take off stump in the first over with a pearler.

"It was least expected, there was no swing from anyone else throughout the whole game really," Hazlewood said.

"To bowl a first over like that. Obviously Roy, a bit unlucky.

"But we've been struggling to get Malan out through the summer so far. To see the back of him was nice. There were some beauties there."

Mitchell Starc is mobbed by Australian teammates after taking a wicket against England.
Mitchell Starc's two first over wickets set Australia up for a dominant 72-run ODI win over England. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Zampa also looked good, first bowling Moeen Ali and then going through a charging Billings to help seal the series with a match to play.

The triumph comes as a significant confident boost for Australia's white-ball side ahead of next year's 50-over World Cup, after the most recent Twenty20 demise.

Beyond Starc's lethal bowling, it will be Smith's outing that will excite Australia most.

After declaring he felt the best he had in six years in the series opener on Thursday night in Adelaide, Smith looked measured and controlled again on Saturday.

He barely gave a chance until he was dismissed in the deep, with his altered grip and less movement at the crease syncing up the movement between his hands and feet.

He worked the ball nicely through the legside throughout, and at one stage hoiked Sam Curran over square leg for six.

But his best shot was a perfect cover drive off Moeen, exemplifying the kind of shot Smith believes he is playing better with the technical changes.

Smith now has scores of 61, 105, 80no and 94 in his past four ODIs, with one more hit to come in Melbourne on Tuesday before the first Test against West Indies starting November 30.

Smith's latest innings also formed part of a 101-run partnership with Marnus Labuschagne, whose 58 marked a return to form after a recent lean run for Queensland.

With AAP

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