McCullum: Starc ‘most feared’ of Oz bowlers


New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum says his batsmen are wary of a bowler named Mitchell, but this time it's not Johnson but rather Starc the opposition are not keen to face in the upcoming Tests.

Starc is the leading international wicket taker in 2015 across all formats, and was the leading bowling at the World Cup in March. McCullum said Starc was not the same bowler he encountered at the 'Gabba four years ago.

McCullum said: "He is a guy who has developed incredibly quickly at this level. Four years ago we came over and he was pretty early in his career. The emergence of him between then and now, he's a completely different bowler.

"Where he sits in world cricket – he's probably one of the most feared bowlers around. But if you want to win in Australia, you don't expect people to hand it to you.

"He possesses skills that transfer into Test cricket as well. His ability to bowl quick and use his bouncer and then follow it up with his yorker, like we've seen a lot in one-day cricket, but we've also seen a little bit of recently in Test cricket as well.

"They're pretty decent weapons to have as a quick bowler."

Australia skipper Steve Smith agreed, saying that Starc's form this year was second to non, and that his Matador Cup form was sublime, averaging in the single figures.

Smith said: "If you've got that mental edge on them you're going to win a lot of battles. It's certainly been hard work facing him in the nets.

"Facing him yesterday, he was presenting a pretty similar seam and some balls were swinging back late and some balls were going across. That's extremely hard to face when it's coming down at 150kph as well.

"He has bowled good pace, he is swinging the ball, and I think with Mitchell one thing I've been most impressed with is when the ball's not doing anything he's found a way to make sure he's getting the ball across the right-hander and build a bit of pressure.

"I think that's going to be really key for us if the ball's not swinging. But if it is, what he's been doing really well is swinging the ball late, at pace and hitting the stumps.

"I think in the Matador Cup he got 17 bowleds. That's something he's done really well."