Aussie quick Starc uses extended off-season to beef up
Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc believes an extended off-season and rigorous strength training may help him crack the 100mph mark.
Only three bowlers have broken that mark in international cricket, and two of them are Australians in Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.
Starc himself came within a hair of joining Lee, Tait and Shoaib Akhtar during the 2015 Test against New Zealand in Perth.
The lanky paceman with a deadly yorker has also made some adjustments to his action in the hope that he can maintain a greater top speed over the course of the upcoming Australian summer.
Starc has packed on pounds of beef during Australia’s lockdown, and England could be the first to face the new and improved fast bowler.
“At the end of summers, I’ve been down to 87kg at my lowest and I’m at 93kg at the moment which is where I want to be at,” Starc told cricket.com.au.
“I’ve started summers around that 90-91kg mark, so I’m in a good place now, feeling really strong.
“It’s been a good amount of time in the gym and now I’m back bowling and running and have enjoyed the time at home to be able to do that and rest the aches and pains of bowling through a 11-month tour like the other boys have as well.”
Starc is treading a fine line adding bulk to improve his strength while also conversely increasing his risk of injury by being heavier.
The paceman himself notes that each time he has come close to bowling at 100 mph, he has suffered a serious injury.
“It would be nice but at the same time the two occasions I’ve been up around that mark I’ve snapped my foot,” he said.
“Hopefully that’s not the case but when everything’s going well, that rhythm is happening and conditions suit, then I can get that speed gun up.
“Perhaps that extra time in the gym and extra time off I might be able to push the limits again.”
Starc believes that he has found the perfect balance between pace and accuracy since making tweaks to his bowling action in the 2019/20 series against New Zealand.
“At the start of the (2019-20) summer and after that UK tour, I very much got in that line and length (and) consistency mindset that the whole (fast bowling) group were about through the Ashes,” Starc recalled.
“That’s not to say that’s not important, but I think I’ve found a happy medium with this little tweak to still have that better consistency but still have my pace.
“I still want to bowl fast and I’m not going to compromise that but I had to find a way that I wasn’t expensive at the same time and I think that little tweak in the action has helped that.
“I’m still able to swing the ball and bowl decent pace and it’s helped my cluster on my pitch map, which is what the group is all about as well.”
A golden summer for England’s Yorkshire run machines
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have been responsible for seven centuries between them.
Joe Root relishing being a ‘rock star’ after England’s historic win over India
New Test captain Ben Stokes wants team to be entertainers.
Fans found guilty of racist abuse at Edgbaston face bans from cricket grounds
Investigations have been launched into allegations of abuse during the fifth Test between England and India.
England’s historic chase of 378 against India is eighth-highest of all-time
West Indies hold the Test record with 418 against Australia in 2003.
England complete record chase of 378 to beat India and level series
England completed a staggering seven-wicket success as Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow saw them comfortably over the line.
Ben Stokes’ England revelling in thrill of the chase
The Test team completed the largest fourth-innings run chase in their history against India.
Allegations of racist abuse among the crowd at Edgbaston being investigated
The Bharat Army has claimed “many” of its members were targeted.
Edgbaston officials to investigate allegations of racist abuse among crowd
The claims were highlighted by former cricketer Azeem Rafiq.
Alex Lees: England have ultimate belief they can complete chase against India
India set the winning line at 378, higher than any England side has ever managed, but the hosts need just 119 more with seven wickets in hand.
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow leave England daring to dream against India
No England side has ever hunted down more than 359 but they have their eyes set on a record chase of 378 at Edgbaston.