Cricket World Cup 2023: Mitchell Starc wants one ball not two used in one-day matches, problems for bowlers, semi-final vs South Africa

Mitchell Starc believes cricket must abolish the use of two new balls in one-day matches, saying it has helped tip the format further in batters’ favour.

The Australian quick has taken 10 wickets in eight matches at 43.90 with an economy rate of 6.55 during the 2023 World Cup, well below his best, including the dominant form he showed at the 2015 and 2019 tournaments.

While Starc conceded he hasn’t performed at the level he knows he can reach, the 33-year-old believes the use of a new Kookaburra after 25 overs has limited the ability to gain reverse swing, particularly in the daytime.

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Starc has not taken a Powerplay wicket with the sun out during this tournament, but struck against India, England and the Netherlands when bowling at night.

“I still think it should be one ball not two,” Starc told reporters on Monday.

“The ball stays harder for longer. As we’ve seen here, the grounds are quite small, wickets are flat.

“If anything in world cricket wickets have gotten flatter and I think if you look at some of that old footage when they bowled with one ball, reverse swing comes into it a lot more that actually brings the bowlers back into the game, and I don’t think it’s any secret that one day cricket and probably T20 cricket as well is a batter’s game and bowlers just have to hang on.”

He added: “I think there’s a lot of contributing factors, speed’s not the be all and end all over here in India as well.

“So certainly how you go about it (bowling) tactically and whether it’s variations or what time you bowl through a game or whether you win or lose a toss. I think a lot of things contribute to that and certainly haven’t been probably at the level that I would have liked as well.

“So I certainly take some (responsibility) myself there that (I haven’t bowled) to the same level as the last two World Cups anyway, but now have chance at the pointy end to I guess impact again.”

Starc heads into Thursday’s World Cup semi-final against South Africa not at full fitness, having been rested for Australia’s final group stage match.

“I didn’t have much of a say in the decision,” he said.

“I’ve carried a few things from the Ashes and it was a chance to give them an extra chance (to recover) before the semi-finals.”

Originally published as ‘Don’t think it’s any secret’: Starc calls for radical rule change amid World Cup problem