It’s time for an ODI World Cup, and, as expected, Mitchell Starc is back to his deadliest best. The Australian left-arm fast bowler, who was the leading wicket-taker in the last two ODI World Cups, pocketed a hat-trick in Australia’s first warm-up match ahead of the World Cup 2023.
In the Rajkot ODI against India last week, Mitchell Starc had looked a bit off-color, chiefly because he was coming off an injury layoff. But he laid down his threat, and sent a message across the 9 other teams in the tournament, with a sensational hat-trick against the Netherlands in their warm-up fixture on Sunday in Thiruvananthapuram.
Starc, who was the Player of the Tournament in the 2015 World Cup which Australia won, is one of the few fast bowlers in the world who can swing the ball at a high pace; Shaheen Afridi being other notable speedster in this category. His pace and swing movement coupled to form a deadly combination that blew away the Netherlands top-order. All three of his wickets were of similar characteristics: swinging in to the right-hander, getting them bowled or lbw.
The match was shortened due to rain. Australia scored 166/7 in their allotted 23 overs. Mitchell Starc was in his best rhythm right from the first over.
On the 5th ball of his first over, the left-arm pacer got opener Max ODowd lbw. On the next ball, he bowled Wesley Barresi. On the first ball of his second over, Starc bowled Bas de Leede for a golden duck to claim his hat-trick, the batter being late in bringing down his bat and the ball ripping into the middle stump.
This led to a spate of memes on social media, with fans hailing the 33-year-old Aussie pacer.
Funny memes on hat-trick by Mitchell Starc vs Netherlands in warm-up match:
Australia’s 15-man World Cup squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc