Starc says change of mindset matters

Steve Larkin
Mitchell Starc has been in superb form in the second Test against Pakistan

After a near-invisible Ashes series, some thought Mitchell Starc may disappear completely from Test cricket.

But the thought never crossed the mind of the man himself.

Starc played just one of the five Tests in England. And after that one, he was dumped for the fifth and deciding fixture.

Many pundits considered Starc, aged 29, was closer to the scrapheap than the top of the pile where he'd spent nigh on eight years.

But not Starc.

"Never really come into my thought process," he said of the prospect.

Starc returned to Australia and changed his action and, crucially, his mind.

Instead of following the espoused Ashes theory of Australia's fast bowlers - be economical, be consistent, hit a length - Starc thought differently.

"What we spoke a fair bit about in the UK tour, the bowling group was heavily focused on economy rates and hitting a length - back of a length, a really good length - for a long amount of time," Starc said.

"Which the guys did phenomenally well throughout the Ashes.

"It was something I worked a fair bit on in the nets there.

"But then coming back to Australia, that first (Sheffield Shield) game, I felt like I perhaps dropped a little bit of pace being too heavily focused on that.

"So now, it's a bit of that focus along with still having a bit of speed focus as well."

The recalibration of mind has worked wonders - Starc claimed his second-best Test figures of 6-66 in Pakistan's first innings in the second Test on Sunday.

He added another victim in the second dig and will spearhead Australia's bid for a knockout on day four when the tourists resume, on the ropes, at 3--39.

The left-armer's Adelaide haul followed seven wickets over two digs in the series opener.

Where some thought they'd seen the back of him, he's now back, big-time.

In addition to the change of thought, Starc considers a technical tweak - a slight positional change when about to coil to release the ball - as vital to his resurgence.

"I was probably more focused on trying to be more consistent rather than just still run in and bowl at a good pace," he said.

"So finding the happy medium there was probably what resulted in the little technical change, to get myself in positions where I'm probably more compact and less can go wrong in terms of the lines and lengths that I want to bowl.

"The changes put me in better positions and to be quite snappy at the crease.

"It wasn't a very big change, but just got me into a better position earlier to do what I wanted to do.And it seems to help me be more consistent as well."