Mitchell Starc is within touching distance of delivering the greatest tournament by a bowler at a World Cup as he continues to rack up the records in England.
Starc again pushed his case as the world’s best one-day bowler on Saturday, claiming figures of 5-26 in Australia’s big win over New Zealand.
In doing so he became the first bowler to claim three five-wicket hauls in their World Cup career, having also rolled through the Black Caps in the 2015 tournament.
He now has 24 wickets for the tournament, seven more than any other bowler in England and two beyond his own mark of four years ago.
That has him within striking distance of Glenn McGrath’s record haul of 26 wickets from his farewell tournament in 2007, with Starc likely to play at least two more games.
“[It won’t mean] much if we don’t win the World Cup,” Starc said.
“Our chances [of winning] are as good as any other team.
“We’ve always spoken about peaking towards the back end of the tournament, and we’re still searching for that perfect performance.”
The left-armer’s World Cup career record stands at 46 wickets at 12.97, the lowest average of any bowler to have claimed more than 20 scalps.
His strike-rate of one wicket every three overs ranks just as high, while he is set to become the first bowler to top the wicket charts at two separate World Cups.
Starc’s records are in line with his new nickname as the “FLOAT” after he became the fastest left-armer of all time to 150 ODI wickets.
The nickname was affectionately given to him by Nathan Lyon — who is known to not love his moniker as the GOAT, or greatest (offspinner) of all time — during the World Cup.
Lyon did, however, label Starc the best one-day bowler in the world after the win over New Zealand.
“He broke the record for the fastest [to 150] wickets and he told me he was the only one who knew at the time,” Lyon said of the nickname.
“I wasn’t playing and I had to run off the field and had a bit of time to think about it.
“So that’s when Dave Beakley [team physio] and I came up with it. Hopefully, it will stick.
“The way Starcy goes about his business … bowling thunderbolts is pretty special.
“I believe he’s the best bowler in the world.”