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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 6, 2019

Mitchell Starc

West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England, UK

Australia - 288, West Indies - 272/9

Q. You were in a bit of trouble when you came on for that last spell. Were you feeling the pressure or confident you could do the job?
MITCHELL STARC: Yeah, you've always got to feel a little bit confident, don't you. It was probably touch and go there. Look, we've always had the belief there, and we've got plenty of good bowling in our lineup, and we know we've got guys that can bowl at the death. We were always only a couple of wickets away, and at the same time they were probably only a few sticks away from taking the game away from us. Fantastic game of cricket today.

Q. Mitchell, it feels like you really have to grind it out at times. How satisfying is that?
MITCHELL STARC: Yeah, it's satisfying. It's also exciting that we haven't probably played awesome cricket today. We've probably played some really good cricket in patches, but there's definitely things we can get a lot better at in all three facets, so that's exciting for the group, finding ways to win and being five for not many and seeing Coults strike them the way he did was fantastic for him and for the group to get us to a competitive total that we felt pretty confident in defending. Yeah, plenty of positives to take from today.

Q. Is this a World Cup thing? You seemed to rise to the occasion pretty well.
MITCHELL STARC: Yeah, the boys were taking the pebbles from me just before, as well. No, look, I guess I've been pretty clear and calm in my approach to cricket in the last few months, and hopefully that's a sign today that even when it's probably in the balance, I can stay calm. Yeah, I guess having that experience of four years ago probably helps play a part, but as I said before, we've got guys that can bowl throughout an innings and bowl at the death, plenty of options for Aaron to go to when called upon. Yeah, another positive today for us to be able to defend that total, but obviously we had to get there with Coults first, which was fantastic.

Q. Can you just talk us through that early entertaining contest between you and Chris Gayle? And were you aware that the ball before the wicket ball you overstepped considerably?
MITCHELL STARC: I didn't until about five minutes ago when someone told me. I'm normally pretty close, and I've actually been a fair way back for the last few weeks. Yeah, I didn't know I was over there, but someone told me about five minutes ago that I was a fair way over. Got away with that one, fortunately.

Q. And the contest?
MITCHELL STARC: Yeah, I've had some good battles with Chris over the years, and he's obviously a major weapon for them, and we just saw a little glimpse of it today, how strong he can be when he strikes that ball. He's so strong, and I guess he finds the gap hitting over the top, doesn't he. Yeah, he's a huge weapon for them, and we knew that going into this contest that they're going to have a few really big strikers and lots of boundaries, which he's one of. Yeah, but we were very fortunate to get him early enough to put them on the back foot again with the new ball.

Q. You didn't play against India in March, but what did you learn from watching that series and from watching them against South Africa yesterday that you can take into Sunday?
MITCHELL STARC: I don't remember watching the series at home (laughter), but if I did I don't remember it.

Q. How do you bowl to Kohli?
MITCHELL STARC: Look, it's different conditions again. We're playing at The Oval. I guess taking a little bit out of how they played against South Africa yesterday; they played pretty well. I didn't see too much of their batting. I watched their bowling.

Look, we go to The Oval tomorrow. I don't think we'll be at the ground but we'll be there the day before and have a look at conditions there. I guess talking about a bowling group, for us it's to continue talking about what we do really well and what we can control. We know they're a fantastic team. They've got depth in their batting, they're strong throughout. Virat is obviously one of their key batsmen. Rohit scored a hundred, as well, so we'll have a chat about them as a bowling group, but at the same time we've got to remember what we can control, and that's -- I guess that's our strengths and where we want to bowl to the conditions, as well.

Q. You performed well with the ball at the death there, did you enjoy the increased pressure?
MITCHELL STARC: Yeah, you've got to, I think, in international cricket. It's something I enjoy doing, bowling at the death. You're not going to win them all, and there's going to be times where you go the journey or where you don't quite get your team over the line. But I think that's what I enjoy about the challenge of that.

As I said before, we've got a group of bowlers, even guys who didn't play this game, who are capable of doing that, and that's a fantastic option to have throughout a World Cup. We know we're going to have to through along 15 guys to win the World Cup, and me personally, I enjoy working at it and enjoy doing it for the team when called upon.

Yeah, I guess the yorker for me is one I've probably gone to more often than not in the past, as well. So whilst they'll know it's coming, as long as I keep executing it, hopefully it's going to be better for me than them.

Q. Where did Nathan's 92 come from?
MITCHELL STARC: He's been hitting the ball really well. Steve Smith actually said his batting has improved out of sight. But for a few of us who have seen him strike the ball, whether it be in the nets or in series at home gone past, he's such a clean striker of the ball, and he hit some fantastic shots today. And as I said before, without his 92, it would have been a real battle for us with the ball. So full credit to him. He was fantastic today with Smudge obviously taking a bit longer and probably taking a bit more of a cautious approach with Nathan swinging pretty hard there.

Q. And what was the chat like in the dressing room when it was 38/4 and you had another tough experience at Trent Bridge, like what you experienced last year?
MITCHELL STARC: I wasn't here last year, so -- yeah, it wasn't too quiet. Everyone was still pretty upbeat and confident. We knew -- obviously knew we had a lot of work to do, but we've got guys who bat throughout. We've got Pat Cummins, who's been striking the ball really well batting at 9. Yeah, I think it was just try and absorb some pressured air and take it deep and see what we could get to.

I guess having a brief chat about it, we thought anything over 200 we could potentially defend, so to get even closer to 300 was fantastic, and as we saw just before, it was lucky we got that many due to Coults, that they did that quite well and we had to bowl really well. Yeah, there are heaps of positives to take out of today.

Q. What is your take on the West Indies' base attack?
MITCHELL STARC: They're quick, and they like the short ball. My chest still hurts a bit. But yeah, look, they bowled really well to have us five for not too many. They bowled fast and aggressive, and I guess that's West Indies' attacks of old. That's fast, aggressive stuff, up around the nose of the batsman, hitting them on the body or something in the helmet, as well.

Yeah, look, it's going to be a huge weapon for them going forward in this World Cup, and yeah, like I said, a great positive for us to come at the end of this game with a really good result for Australia and plenty to learn from.

Q. Given the reaction you guys got from the crowd, is it safe to say you wouldn't be too disappointed to come back here for an Ashes test?
MITCHELL STARC: We were surprised when there wasn't going to be an Ashes test here. But no, look, it's part of the atmosphere here. You probably know that most of the local crowds aren't going to be on our side and it's going to be that way for the next four months, I guess. Look, it's a great atmosphere, and obviously not too much in our corner, but yeah, as I said, it's a great atmosphere, and you want to play in front of a good crowd and good noise, and when you can create results for us like that today and almost quieten them up a little bit, it's a great positive, as well.

Q. You had that 160K ball against New Zealand a few years ago. Are you physically up to perhaps nudging 160 again?
MITCHELL STARC: I need a strong breeze going, I think.

No, I felt really good today. Rhythm is starting to feel really good, and the things I've been working on the last few months are really coming to fruition, so that's a huge positive for me. Yeah, as long as I can keep contributing to the group the way I've done today and hopefully the last couple of weeks, it's a great sign for the group going forward, and we can start to string performances together. As I said before, a lot of things we can improve on, but if we can all keep contributing and having a great tournament, it's going to result in some really positive cricket for Australia.

Q. You came out to bowl as soon as Andre Russell came out. Is that something you guys have spoken about before, or just going forward, whenever the danger man comes in, do you just demand the ball, or is it something that you plan before the game?
MITCHELL STARC: It's up to Finchy. I think one thing he communicated to all the bowling group was to stay ready at all times, which is what you've got to do in one-day cricket. Things can change very quickly, whether it be a wicket or someone gets a few shots away, you've got to be prepared to bowl at all different stages, whether it be in the first, second or third powerplay. You've got to be prepared for 1- or 2-over spells or for 4- or 5-over spells. That was communicated back in Australia before we came to the UK, and something that we've all worked really hard on is being ready for whether it is an Andre Russell comes out and you want to attack him or whether you need to defend or bowl that death stuff a bit earlier. We're all prepared for that. We've got a great bowling attack that can do that. There's guys on the bench that do that really well. Yeah, we're in a good spot.

Q. Were you just looking on from the dressing room, were you just surprised by the way your top order played, the hand of the shortstop that was coming their way from the West Indies?
MITCHELL STARC: It was pretty quick. I'm not sure I would have gone too well against it. Yeah, look, it's something to learn from, as I said. It was fast hostile bowling and something to learn from.

Yeah, the guys probably didn't play it the way they would have liked to, but we've come away with a great result, plenty to learn from with bat, ball and in the field, and credit to them, they bowled fast, aggressive stuff at us for a fair period of that -- the opening couple of spells. Sometimes it's just hard to play against, and it's not fun to bat against, so I certainly don't like it, and I much prefer dishing it out.

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