IPL 2024 – KKR vs SRH – Big game, white ball, first over: Mitchell Starc’s romance for the ages

The white ball wants to fly, and lately it’s looking to hitters to satisfy that urge. Travis Head, in particular, was very kind about this. They’ve seemed very into each other recently; I had a very successful meeting here in Ahmedabad a few months ago. Then he introduced himself. The old flame.

Oh, they were so hot when they were together. The start of 2015 was filled with totally NSFW scenes. Ninety-three thousand people saw them frolicking in broad daylight on the MCG. Brendon McCullum had to look away.

Mitchell Starc and the white ball. This romance is not for the faint of heart. And it reignited Tuesday evening. From practice, it seemed like they were back together. The left-arm quick in his practice gear was going full throttle, and the guy with the baseball glove, standing behind a set of target stumps—those fluorescent stumps made of a soft material—was struggling to keep up. So much rhythm. So much bounce. Something was brewing.

Soon it was game time and fate itself weighed in favor of Starc’s immediate union with his one true love (sorry Alyssa Healy). Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat. Head went on strike. Starc came running. The ball hit the bat and crashed into his stumps. He had just been abandoned in front of more than 75,000 people.

We should have known this was going to happen. It was a big match. He is Australian. And it’s a World Cup year, which is partly why he’s even playing this IPL, after skipping the back nine. Starc could not have known about the INR 24.75 crore ($2.99 ​​million / AU$4.4 million approx.) he would be awarded at the auction when he put his name back in the hat . Back then, all he cared about was match practice, against the best of the best, leading up to an ICC event.

At first, everything didn’t really go as planned. He gave away 100 runs in eight overs. Then just 82 for 10 picking up five wickets. Then it went bad again. 148 in 10 overs. Despite everything, Starc continued to work. He trained as hard as he always does. It turned off when it needed to. He had confidence in his talent.

Sometimes in T20 cricket, no matter how good you are, you will get hit. And the place where Starc kept getting hit (economy rate of 11.61) was where all the fast bowlers were getting hit (10.51). Gardens of Eden. It helped him keep perspective, which is why he didn’t see the need to change anything in the playoffs. He bowled a good length. He was looking for swing. He found it. And he never gave up. KKR spent 3/4 of its purse on him during the auction. It must be really worth it right now.

Starc’s two great strengths are his aerial speed and his precision. He is made a threat even though there is no help available. The other makes him mortal if there is the slightest help. Ahmedabad falls into the second category, with one very important caveat. As the ball aged, it lost its luster and became easier to hit. This was visible with the Sunrisers scoring 53 runs in the back half of the first 10 overs, even though they had lost four wickets by then. So the trick was to make the most of the early exchanges and there are few better than Starc at this.

According to ball-by-ball data from ESPNcricinfo, 67.5% of deliveries in his first over during his T20 career threaten either the stumps or the outside edge. There is a high chance of false shots with this type of examination. It turns out to be thirty-three percent. In other words, two of the six balls he will start the match with have significant wicket-taking potential.

Starc has 498 wickets in both formats of white-ball cricket. Three of them belong to Head. One from now. Two from the Australian one-day national tournament in 2015. All were played, in the first round, to scores of 0, 1 and 0, with exactly the same performance. Inclined. Walking away. At speeds causing nosebleeds.

Seeing those messy stumps, Starc raised his right hand and peeled it off to one side, creating another snapshot first seen nine years ago when he won an entire World Cup in the space of six balls. It was his best night, and one, based on what happens in Chennai in a few days, could still make the top 10. Imagine waking up a winner of the ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup, of the Test Championship, Ashes and IPL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *