Australia coach Justin Langer believes pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is the best limited overs bowler in the world.
Starc was at his brilliant best against West Indies in Australia’s 2-1 ODI series win, taking 11 wickets at 10.63 across the three matches.
That came after a T20I series in which he won an incredible final over shootout against Andre Russell, bowling five consecutive dots to defend 10 runs.
“I think Mitchell Starc is the best white ball bowler in the world,” Langer said ahead of Australia's flight to Bangladesh.
“He bowls up front, swings the ball. He is the best bowler at the death in the world. He is great to have in our team. The combination with him and Josh Hazlewood is a real plus for us.”
Starc took at least three wickets in each of the ODIs including 5/48 in the opening match, which lifted him to equal fourth for the most five-wicket hauls in the format’s history. Just 99 ODIs into his career, he has taken 195 wickets at 22.45 in the format. He is firmly on course to set a record for the fewest matches to the 200-wicket mark, with Saqlain Mushtaq’s 104-game benchmark firmly in his sights.
The ODI victory came after a disappointing 4-1 T20I series loss for Australia but Langer said there were plenty of positives for Australia to take from both legs of the campaign, particularly considering the personnel they were missing.
Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, and Glenn Maxwell – among others – all missed the tour, while captain Aaron Finch was forced out of the T20I series by a knee injury. In their absence, senior stars Starc, Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh and Adam Zampa all stepped up, while stand-in ODI captain Alex Carey impressed in a youthful squad.
“I knew the T20s were going to be tough, particularly against the West Indies who are as good anyone in the world in T20 cricket,” Langer said, referencing the missing players and Australia’s long stint without cricket.
“It was disappointing to lose that series but a lot came out of it for us in our build-up to the World Cup. To win this one-day series is a great reward for all the hard work the boys have been doing and it is nice to see them being rewarded for that and some smiles on their faces yesterday.
“It’s a great indication of the depth of talent we have got in Australian cricket. We have got so much talent. One of the hard things as a selector is trying to fit them all into XI places. Really proud of the way the guys have fought through this whole series.”
Australia are next in action on Tuesday against Bangladesh in the first of five T20Is.
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