Mitchell Starc credits the Australian Coach for his stern advice

Mitchell Starc

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc recently revealed the stern advice that significantly changed his approach to the game. The left-arm pacer credited former Australia coach Tim Nielsen for making him aware of the need to toughen up and push through injuries.

Starc is on the verge of a significant milestone. If he takes two more wickets in the upcoming second Test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval, he will surpass Dennis Lillee on Australia’s all-time leading Test wicket-takers list. This achievement will place him fourth behind Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, and Nathan Lyon.

However, Starc takes equal pride in his upcoming seventh consecutive Test appearance during the southern hemisphere summer. In his 14-year international career, Starc hadn’t had such a long run of matches. The closest he came was during the 2017-18 season, where he missed just one Test out of eight amidst a gruelling schedule against England and South Africa.

Mitchell Starc reflects on his injuries

Once considered fragile, Starc has transformed into Australia’s Iron Man, battling through pain to represent his country. He distinctly remembers a conversation on one of his early tours with Australia in 2010, that led him to realise that pushing through pain was part of the job.

“I was still learning what all those pains were and the reports get around from physios to coaches and I sort of got told to harden the f*** up a little bit. Timmy Nielsen probably made me aware of those early doors. There’s plenty of times you need to be honest with the medical staff but other times you got to know when to push through things,” Starc said.

Over the past year, Starc has encountered one of those challenging periods. Despite featuring in only four Tests, he emerged as Australia’s top wicket-taker during the away Ashes series last year. Then after being slated to play in the limited-overs tour of South Africa ahead of the ODI World Cup, he was sidelined due to persistent groin discomfort.

Starc has maintained a veil of secrecy regarding the specifics of his injury and refrained from divulging details of the extent of his discomfort.

“I think a lot of work goes into that a lot of work that people don’t see or whether it be the rehab or the handling of niggles or there’s certainly sore mornings for a lot of people. But I think that comes down to experiencing and knowing how to deal with certain things and finding ways through them to still make an impact with a team or perform and carry out your role,” Starc said.

Also Read: PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi Instructs Pakistan Cricketers to Train with Army