Mitchell Starc has revealed a struggle to feel like he was “good enough” for Test cricket has stoked the fire in him in the twilight years of his career, driving him to become just the 16th Australian to play 100 Tests.
The left-arm quick boasts a scintillating Test record — from 82 matches, he’s taken 333 wickets at the average of 27.60 and strike-rate of 48.70 — but self-doubt and external noise, including that of Shane Warne, have plagued his career.
His younger brother Brandon, a two-time Olympic high jumper and the joint Australian men’s record-holder, recently talked to Wide World of Sports about the criticism fired at Mitchell, describing it as “unfair” and applauding how he’d handled it.
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In an episode of the Willow Talk Cricket Podcast released on Thursday, Starc revealed he was planning on ending his eight-year Indian Premier League drought in 2024.
The 33-year-old also suggested that Test retirement was not on his mind.
“It’s an interesting one. I’m well into my thirties now … There’s a few of us that are well aware that we’re closer to the end than the start and we’re having a lot of fun together, playing our cricket, touring, on the golf course, whatever it may be,” Starc said.
“But yeah, I’m not sort of one for setting numbers, goals or personal goals or what I want to achieve this year.
“It took me a long time to feel like I was good enough (for) Test cricket, so I want to really give that the biggest crack I’ve got.
“I’d like to be good enough to get to 100 Tests. Not just get to 100 — I’d like to be good enough to be picked for 100 Tests.”
If Starc does join the 100-Test club and doesn’t miss a match on his way to the century, he will reach the ton in the second match of the 2025-26 Ashes in Australia.
The Australians will play three Tests against Pakistan and two against the West Indies over the upcoming summer, before heading to New Zealand for two Tests.
Starc’s immediate priority is overcoming a groin injury on the road to the 50-over World Cup, taking place in India across October and November.
The towering fast bowler was on Wednesday named in a provisional 15-man Australian squad, alongside fellow quicks Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Sean Abbott.
“The big one obviously in a couple of weeks is the World Cup, which in India just goes to another level,” added Starc, who’s set to feature in his third 50-over World Cup.
“And then you look at the one-day format. It’s sort of four years in between World Cups, so where do I see myself in that mix?
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed white-ball cricket and that’s probably where I got my main opportunities in, as well.
“Likewise, when I’ve had some time at the IPL (with Royal Challengers Bangalore) I thoroughly enjoyed that challenge and I look forward to hopefully going back (next) year, as well.
“But I’ve got to get to the end of this World Cup first.”
Starc was named Australia’s player of the series in the 2023 Ashes, having taken a series-high 23 wickets at the average of 27.08 and strike-rate of 33.40.