SYDNEY - Australian quick Mitchell Starc says it was “disappointing” to be criticised by Shane Warne but denied he used it as a spur to perform so well he won the player of the World Cup award. Warne slammed Starc’s body language during an underwhelming performance in the second Test against India last December, saying “he just looks a bit soft”.

Starc rebounded to become the equal leading wicket-taker (with Trent Boult on 22 scalps) at the World Cup with his two performances against New Zealand, in particular, being instrumental. Speaking on Back Page Live on Tuesday night, Starc acknowledged the comment had stung.

“Yeah, it was disappointing to hear those words,” he said. “I don’t think it spurred me on. It was probably fair comment at the time, with how the day went and how I bowled on that day. But I think everyone is entitled to a bad day. Sachin Tendulkar presents the man-of-the-tournament award to Mitchell Starc after the Wor

 “It was probably disappointing more so that, I guess, it came from someone who’s played cricket to the limit he has, at the highest level, and he’s definitely gone through some bad days himself. And I’m sure he would’ve known how myself and some of the other boys were going that day. Maybe a little disappointing but it didn’t affect me too much.”

Starc bowled Kiwi danger man Brendon McCullum on the third ball of the final after beating him the previous two deliveries to set up Australia’s seven-wicket win at the MCG last month.

“I was just getting chills watching that again, the highlights,” Starc said. “The noise in that ground was unbelievable. We’ve had fantastic support through the whole World Cup. Even over in Eden Gardens, we had great Aussie support over there, so to play in front of 93,000 people in a World Cup final in your own country is something the whole squad will never forget. It was an amazing feeling.”

Starc revealed he concocted a plan with bowling coach Craig McDermott to try and bowl a yorker on the first ball of Australia’s quarter-final against Pakistan but it didn’t go to plan. “I think it turned out to be a bouncer, so that didn’t come off,” he said. “We spoke about it when we arrived in Melbourne, (McCullum’s) either going to charge me or come really hard and swing first ball, so let’s try a yorker.

“The next day the meeting, Pup (Michael Clarke) sat down and said this is how we’re going to bowl to him, to McCullum. He said no one’s tried to bowl him a decent yorker. So after that first one missed, we thought he’s got all the luck in the world he’s going to peel off another hundred. So for him to miss all three and then bowl him, I think as you saw, I didn’t really know what to do.”

Australia’s players, notably Brad Haddin and James Faulkner, received criticised from around the world for the way they gave the Kiwis a “send-off” but Starc defended his teammates’ actions. “No one got in trouble, so by the rules standard it was all fair,” Starc said. “It was a World Cup final, we knew both teams were going to play hard and I just think it’s the Australian way to go out all guns blazing and to play to win. I think if we lose a few friends, as long as we lift that trophy then everyone’s happy”.

In a lighter moment, a recording of Shane Warne’s infamous line of questioning after the World Cup final — “Are you feeling thirsty?” — was played to Starc. “Is that water in there?” Starc quipped as he cradled his glass.