ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Injury helped Starc hit reset button: Haddin
Brad Haddin believes an injury to Mitchell Starc at the end of the Australian summer has led to the speedster's impressive World Cup form
Louis Cameron in Manchester
3 July 2019, 04:00 PM AEST
Missing all 10 of Australia's one-dayers leading into the World Cup may have actually been the silver bullet Mitchell Starc needed to help recapture his stunning form from his devastating 2015 campaign.
That's the opinion of assistant coach Brad Haddin, the man who had the best view of Starc's 22-wicket trail of destruction that earned him player-of-the-tournament honours four years ago and led Australia to their fifth 50-over title.
The left-arm speedster has already eclipsed his 2015 haul and is now only three away from breaking Glenn McGrath's World Cup record of 26 for the most wickets in a tournament.
It comes after an enforced layoff due to a pectoral injury that sidelined him from ODI tours against India and Pakistan.
"You never like to see players get injured, but it was probably a good thing," Haddin told reporters in Manchester, where Australia will face South Africa in their final group-stage game on Saturday.
"It let him reset where he was and he has come back fit and strong and we're getting the rewards for being injured for a few months."
After coming in for criticism last summer from the likes of Shane Warne for his returns in the home Test series defeat to India, Starc hit back with a ten-wicket haul against Sri Lanka before injury ended his season.
Readjusting his sights to the World Cup, the 29-year-old worked closely with NSW bowling coach Andre Adams in the lead-in to the event, with a focus on replicating how he bowled in 2015.
It’s worked wonders.
Starc is on track to become the first bowler to be the leading wicket taker in back-to-back World Cups, while he’s played a major part in making sure Australia have been the standout side in the tournament to date.
Asked if he's now bowling even better than he did in 2015, Haddin coyly replied, "I will tell you if we win."
He added: "He's gone through stages in 2015 where no matter what he did turned to gold. It looks like he is one of those passages of form at the moment. He's done a lot of work going into the tournament."
Haddin identified length as the key to Starc's success and data provided by Opta reveals more than half of his 24 wickets have come from 'good length' deliveries.
That may sound obvious, but it's something of a contrast to his 2015 campaign where only seven of his 22 wicket-taking balls pitched in that area.
In that tournament he took eight scalps with yorkers alone, compared to just one – his iconic, match-winning delivery to remove Ben Stokes last week – in this tournament.
"One thing I have been impressed with Mitch has been the length he's been bowling," said Haddin. "He's got that unbelievable yorker and he can go through a tail and a middle of the game really quick.
"I've been impressed with has been how he's using the new ball. He's got that length right and a lot of work has gone in to that.
"Someone coming from that height and pace, if they've got that length you'll ask a lot of question of the opposition's feet and that's what he's doing at the moment."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 12: Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
June 15: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs
June 20: Australia beat Bangladesh by 48 runs
June 25: Australia beat England by 64 runs
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
Sync Australia's World Cup schedule to your calendar HERE
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE