Australia pacer Mitchell Starc announced his arrival ahead of the ODI World Cup with a stunning hat-trick in their first warm-up match against Netherlands. Starc, the most successful active ODI World Cup bowler, wiped out the entire Netherlands top order with a sensational spell of bowling.
Starc dismissed Max O’Dowd, Wesley Baressi, and Bas de Leede with three stunning deliveries. The left-arm fast bowler relied on swing under the lights while defending 167 runs in 23 overs and ran through the top order.
He trapped O’Dowd with an inswinger plumb in front of the wicket, went through the defence of Baressi, and then yorked out de Leede.
Apart from Starc, Mitchell Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne and Sean Abbott were amongst the wickets and had left Netherlands reeling at 84/6 in 14.2 overs before the game had to be stopped due to rain.
Australia are coming into the World Cup on the back of two series losses. They lost 3-2 against Australia and then were defeated by India 2-1. However, with this kind of rhythm, that seems like a long ago.
Starc in particular would be looking forward to the World Cup, given he is just one wicket away from 50 scalps in the ODI format of the tournament. Starc is one of the greatest World Cup bowlers of all time and has 49 wickets from 18 matches. His sensational average of 14.82, is even better than the legendary Glenn McGrath, who is the highest ODI World Cup wicket-taker of all time. Starc has been on song in the Indian sub-continent and was one of the main reasons behind Australia’s ODI series victory in March, where India lost 2-1 to the Steve Smith side. The left arm pacer would hope for some swing early on in Indian conditions to maximise his impact.