Exciting to find new ways to win, says Starc

Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates after taking his fifth wicket, that of West Indies' Sheldon Cottrell during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between Australia and West Indies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on June 6, 2019. (AFP)

Lead pacer Mitchell Starc said Australia finding "new ways to win" is exciting after his team staged a spectacular recovery to beat the West Indies in the World Cup here.

The West Indies once again shone with the new ball to reduce Australia to 38/4, yet the reigning champions eventually recovered to post 288 batting first, thanks largely to Nathan Coulter-Nile’s 92, a World Cup record for a number eight.

It seemed that wouldn’t be enough when the West Indies piled on the partnerships, with both Shai Hope and Holder scoring fifties as they entered the last ten overs needing 68 to win and four wickets remaining.

But Australia came roaring back with Starc at the forefront to take 5/46, helping his side to their second win of the competition.

"We haven’t played awesome cricket in that game, we played well in patches but we can get better in all three areas of the game. It’s exciting to find new ways to win, Coults played very well to get us to a competitive total," said Starc here on Thursday.

"You always have to be confident in those situations, it was touch and go for a while. We always had the belief, there is lots of good bowling in our line-up and we were only a couple of wickets away. But then they were only a few sixes away."

Starc himself earned plenty of plaudits, unsurprising given the five-wicket haul that lit up Nottingham.

Those scalps included set batsmen Holder and Andre Russell, who had threatened to take the West Indies home with 68 needed from 60 balls, though trapping opener Chris Gayle lbw proved the major early blow.

At 29, the left-armer boasts plenty of ODI cricket and with the memories of the last World Cup still fresh in his mind, the experience of victory four years ago seems to be paying dividends.

"I was confident of defending that total. I’m pretty clear and calm in my approach, hopefully that’s a sign that even when games are in the balance, I can stay calm," said Starc, who was named Player of the Tournament in 2015 after taking 22 wickets.

"The experience of four years ago plays a part but for guys who can bowl at the death we have a lot of options. I’ve had some good battles with Chris (Gayle), we know he’s a major weapon for them... He’s a man who looks for boundaries so it was nice to get him out."

Australia next face India at The Oval in London on Sunday. Australia, who are on a 10-match winning streak, made a remarkable comeback to beat hosts India 3-2 in March after losing the first two games.

"We’ve got India next up and we’ll go away and have a chat as a bowling group and control what we can control. We’ll look to play to our strengths and the conditions and see what we can do," said Starc. PTI

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