Mitchell Starc's stunning return to form after questions raised at Cricket World Cup

The fast bowler was at the centre of brutal criticism heading into the knockout stages.

Mitchell Starc speaks and Starc celebrates with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
Mitchell Starc (pictured left) has once again answered his critics having saved his best bowling performances for the final of the World Cup. (Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc has once again shut down his critics having saved his best bowling performances for the knockout stages of the World Cup after taking three vital wickets in the final. Starc sits alongside Glenn McGrath as Australia's best ever wicket-taker at World Cups, but has fended off criticism in India for not having the same impact as previous tournaments.

Not deterred, Starc produced his best figures in the semi-final win over South Africa and he once again followed it up with another 3-55 in the final. And Starc's ability to gain early movement made the difference as he snared the wicket of Shubnam Gill at the beginning.

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And just when India were producing a fight back, Starc dismissed KL Rahul for 66 to halter the momentum and silence the 100,000-plus strong crowd. His six wickets in the knockout stages left him with 16 for the tournament.

While he didn't enjoy the best group stage, Starc finished the knockout stage with six wickets at an average of 14.83. Alongside quicks Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, the trio have one the T20 World Cup, One Day International World Cup and the World Test Championship all since 2015.

Starc has likely played in his final World Cup tournament at the age of 33 and fans lauded his achievement having silenced his critics once again on the biggest stage.

Mitchell Starc silences critics at World Cup

Ahead of the knockout stages, Ian Healy - who is the uncle of Starc's wife Alyssa - called for the fast-bowler to lift his game heading into the showdowns. “If we haven’t got South Africa one or two wickets down in that powerplay, then it’ll be a big total to chase. Is (Starc) still a potent force?" he said.

“He’s not been potent at all in this tournament. Ten wickets off eight games is not bad but where is he taking these wickets? He won’t be potent at all until he gets it right and zero in on the stumps much better than he has. Fire into those stumps and feet.”

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc celebrate.
Pat Cummins (pictured left) and Mitchell Starc (pictured right) were vital in Australia's excellent bowling display in the World Cup final. (Photo by Darrian Traynor-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Speaking before the semi-final, Ricky Ponting also called out Australia's seamers over their lack of impact in the powerplay. The former captain pointed out that the Aussies had only taken eight wickets in the powerplay so far - the third fewest among all 10 teams.

Since the criticism, the bowlers fired-up with Hazlewood, Starc and captain Cummins proving to be the best bowling attack in the world when it comes down to it. The trio's bowling kept both South Africa and India - who arguably boast the best batting line-up in the world - to scores of below 300.

Mitchell Starc set for $25 move after World Cup

Only hours before the World Cup, it was announced Starc and Alyssa Healy were reportedly set to buy a new $25 million luxury home in Sydney’s Terrey Hills. The Australian Financial Review reports the pair are expected to become the new owners of Charlotte Park - a Georgian-style residence with views of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park- located off Mona Vale Road.

Alyssa Healy poses with Mitchell Starc.
Alyssa Healy (pictured left) and Mitchell Starc (pictured right) are reportedly looking at buying a new home. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The property features a world-class equestrian facility, an in-ground trampoline, a bespoke American-style barn, wine cellar and can fit up to 13 cars in its garage. The 1.8-hectare residence also comes with a tennis court and a kitchen garden with a chicken coop. Starc and Healy, who have been married since 2016, have registered their interest in purchasing Charlotte Park. While agent Shayne Hutton of Sydney Country Living has yet to comment on the sale, the price tag is reportedly around the $25 million asking price.

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