Mitchell Starc speaks following Australia’s win over South Africa in the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup 2023

Mitchell Starc speaks following Australia’s win over South Africa in the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

Mitchell Starc speaks following Australias win over South Africa

Reporter: Tonight with Josh has Australia’s win here to talk to. You have microphones on both sides. So if you could pass them amongst yourselves, make sure I know who’s got the microphone. We’ll just start at the front here with there. Okay. Mitch, congratulations. What were the emotions like there, particularly towards the end of that chase?

Mitchell Starc: Obviously, it got a bit tight there. It did. I think it was a tricky wicket throughout and different phases of pressure for both teams throughout the game. I was pretty calm. I think Paddy was pretty calm as well and whilst it was pretty close, we had plenty of time, so nice to squeeze past and make it to a final.

Reporter: And on a personal front with the ball, how pleasing is it sort of gratifying to play like that? It’s such a big game given the tournament you’ve had.

Mitchell Starc: I guess probably not been the tournament that I’d liked from the get-go, but nice to step up in a big game and I think that our power play was probably what got us on our way. There were other key moments through the day with bat and ball, but to start the game like that with Josh and our power play wickets has probably not been our strong suit through the tournament.

So it was nice to have a power player of two for 18 or something like that. The way Josh bowled throughout to finish two for 12 was incredible. Then Trav with bat and ball and I think a lot of guys in the field as well, the way Davey stepped up in the field and led by example. You could probably name everyone in different circumstances throughout the day to step up in a big game.

Reporter: Just about the first ten overs, later on, it became a pitch that was suiting the spinners, but what was it like for you and Josh, found moving around compared to everything else that you’ve got?

Mitchell Starc: It was a pretty bare wicket. I’m not sure if it was tougher to start with the bat due to being under covers for some amount of time. We probably saw it was a very inconsistent pace. Whilst it did nip a little bit and there was a bit of swing, I think the inconsistencies made it tough to bat on with the first ten overs that we bowled.

Looking at Josh’s pitch map, that’s what he does so well in test match bowling. So, he was incredible today and the way we run off each other, to have that power play that we did and then carry some momentum through the middle was how we want to start matches. So it was nice to do it in a big game.

Reporter: Speaking of power plays, the innings that Travis had played in the context of the game and how typical it got for batting, and that is the role why he has backed despite the injury and everything else?

Mitchell Starc: I think the way, not only Travis but also Davy, they certainly put the pressure straight on South Africa there in the first ten overs and we’ve seen throughout the tournament how tough the first ten overs can be at certain times of the day with the two out and the hard new balls.

So when you’re willing to take the game on like that and sometimes you take a little bit of luck with you, but the guys were fantastic in that opening partnership, and then Travis carried through a bit longer and he was probably looking a bit ominous there not to go further for closer to a hundred.

So, certainly took some pressure off early with the way that the guys started, and much needed with how we saw the back end of the game and giving ourselves a bit extra time not to have to go so hard at the end.

Reporter: Mel, down, I mean you’ve mentioned that there’s power plays. Was it, despite there being some counter-punching and back and forth, it just a tale of two power plays, essentially, it the story of that match and the fact that Australia was so aggressive in both, does that reflect I guess, the aggression of the side, the way you attack it and the positive mindset straight on that you can just land that first punch early, do most of the hard work?

Reporter: I guess so. I think.

Mitchell Starc: I certainly didn’t sit in batting meetings, but that was pretty much how we drew it up. We wanted to hit hard with the ball. We know that South Africa is very strong at the back end if they’ve got wickets in hand, and if we can get Miller and Klassen in early or within the first 20 overs, then we’re well on our way and it makes it a bit harder for them to backend it.

So, certainly went to plan with the ball today and that’s pretty much the way we set up with the bat to be aggressive, take the game on, and have the freedom to give those guys to go out and play the way they like to.

So, I think that was certainly the first 10 overs with the bat is how we drew it up. Got tougher with the spin there and South Africa bowled well in different patches to put pressure back on us, but I think the way we started with the bat meant, as I said before, we didn’t have to go as hard at the back end.

Reporter: Right. Congratulations on reaching the final, so you’ll be playing against India in the final in front of one lakh, 30,000 spectators. So you have seen that Rohit Sharma is having a great time while opening. So how much are you looking forward to tackling the Indian openers within your…

Mitchell Starc: That’s why we play the game. We’re here to take on the best. They’ve been the best in the tournament so far and we both find ourselves in the finals, so that’s what World Cups are about.

You want to take on the best throughout and we certainly come up against a team that has led from the front through the tournament and are undefeated. So, we played them in the first game in the tournament, now we get to take them on in the last, so, what a place to be at the end of the World Cup.

Reporter: Mitch, are you a bit surprised given there’s been so many runs scored in this tournament? You only have to look at last night when there were more than 700 runs scored in the Mumbai final that you ended up on a pitch that didn’t showcase the one day game as it could have been showcased in the major world cricket event.

Mitchell Starc: I’m certainly not going to say I’m one to read pitches and know what they do. I’ve been training here the last few days. The practice wicket certainly turned a lot, from all reports. I think the wicket we played on has been used a few times, so no surprise that it did turn, probably a little surprising that it did seem around a bit.

As I said before, it was pretty inconsistent pace-wise. I think average first-inning scores here have been sort of around the 300 mark or a little bit higher, so a little bit surprising, but sometimes it’s nice to see the ball dominate.

Reporter: Mitch, were you surprised that [South Africa] didn’t come at you a little harder in the power play?

Mitchell Starc: I think at a certain stage they tried to. As I said, Josh was incredible with his line and length. We were able to build a lot of dot balls on them, which brings a shot like played so to, you know, he’s obviously been a big part of their World Cup and scoring runs and to get see the back of him early and get their middle order in, as I said, sooner rather than towards the back end where they can play with freedom was what we drew up.

And so I think the discipline we showed today probably prevented them going any harder or certainly the way we fielded as well prevented them leaking runs or letting the scoreboard get away from us. So yeah, a mixture of discipline with the ball and it certainly backed up in the field by all the guys meant we were on top in the power play.

Reporter: Your batsmen had a tough time against the South African spin tonight. Is that a concern ahead of the final considering…

Mitchell Starc: I guess we’ll find out when we get to the final tomorrow and see if it’s a fresh wicket or an…

Reporter: Mitch, the last time India played Australia in a World Cup final was back in 2003. You were a bright 13-year-old boy at the time. Happy memories from that match for you given what happened in the final?

Mitchell Starc: Apart from Australia winning, I don’t know what happened in that game. So…

Reporter: Big party afterward?

Mitchell Starc: No, probably asleep, but I can’t remember what he did two weeks ago.

Reporter: Congratulations on making the final. What do you think will matter the most in the final of a World Cup? I mean, is it going to be handling of the pressure or will it be largely the skill of the players involved?

Mitchell Starc: You could probably say both. It’s a big occasion, it’s a World Cup final. Certainly, guys in both change rooms have been there before in different formats. I mean, both teams played each other in the test final earlier in the year.

So I don’t think either changing room is new to big occasions. It’s certainly going to be a big occasion in the World Cup final in India. It’s going to be loud, there’s going to be a lot of passion there. It’s going to be a fantastic occasion and no doubt there’s going to be different amounts of pressure at different times on both teams. And yeah, I think it’s just going to be a great spectacle of cricket and certainly everyone in our dressing room is looking forward to the occasion.

Reporter: Brilliant. Thanks, everyone. Thank you.


South Africa21249.4Loss


November 16, 20232:00 pmCricket World Cup2023

About Akshay Badwe

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