Starc's value increases in absence
Photo Source: AP
The statistics suggest it and the performances confirm it, Mitchell Starc is Australia's most valuable one-day cricketer.
Australia's early struggles on their ODI tour of South Africa without the left-arm quick highlights Starc's irreplaceable position in the country's limited overs setup.
The back-to-back defeats to the Proteas last weekend continue a wider trend of Australian vulnerability without their pace spearhead.
Since the start of his imperious 2015 World Cup campaign, Starc has played 22 of 36 ODIs for his country.
With him in the side, Australia have won 19 of those 22 fixtures - a winning ratio of 86 per cent.
Without him, that ratio plummets to 42.8 per cent with just six victories from the 14 matches since February 2015 where Starc hasn't featured.
Starc's wicket-taking ability with the new ball and at the death has certainly been missed so far in South Africa.
Protea pair Quinton de Kock and Rilee Roussow have combined for opening stands of 145 in Centurion and 70 at the Wanderers.
The South Africans were also able to pile on 97 runs in the final 10 overs of their first innings in game two to lift their total to an imposing 6-361.
Regardless of his status as the man who takes Australia from competitive to near-unbeatable, Starc isn't available for the final three matches of the series in South Africa - a fact the tourists must come to terms with.
"It's just what you have to deal with," George Bailey said.
"The quicks we've got have the skills, and they're going to be learning really quickly.
"There's probably no better spot to learn than against the best, and they will have to adapt and have to learn, and I'm sure they will."