BGT 2022-23: Starc averages 50.14 in India; will he make an impact if he plays in the Delhi Test?
Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23: Mitchell Starc averages 50.14 in India; will he make an impact if he plays in the Delhi Test? Starc has taken just 7 wickets in 4 Tests in India at an abysmal average of 50.14.
Australia’s lead pacer Mitchell Starc missed out on the first test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 in Nagpur due to a finger injury which he sustained in late December last year. However, with the growing number of reports trickling through, speculation on his availability for the second Test in Delhi is rife.
The Aussie pacer appears to be in good shape and is currently undergoing training under the supervision of Australia's physical performance coach Aaron Kellett. Furthermore, Australia skipper Pat Cummins hinted that Starc’s selection for the second Test is highly probable.
So, will the inclusion of Starc boost the much-deflated Australian side? Or will India’s batters have their say and continue to tarnish his bowling figures in India? Let’s dive in!
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Career average of 27.26 as against an average of 37.38 against India
Known for his ability to bowl rapid thunderbolts, Starc made a promising start to his international career back in 2011. He debuted in a two-Test series against the Blackcaps in the Trans-Tasman Trophy and picked up 2 prize wickets, featuring dismissals of Jessie Ryder and Brendon McCullum amongst others, who were regarded as prolific Kiwi batters back in those days. Then in 2012, he made a brief appearance in the third Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2011-12 against a high quality Indian side and exploited the pace friendly conditions at the WACA to dismiss Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar in India’s second innings. He ended that game with impressive match figures of 4/70.
Although his overall Test career numbers are outstanding which elucidate that the Australia speedster has 304 Test scalps at a stunning average of 27.26, he has largely struggled with consistency and failed to bowl with the same venom in subcontinent conditions.
His Test record against Team India is rather dismal. Starc has taken just 42 wickets in 15 Tests against India at an average of 37.38 and a strike rate of 68. Furthermore, to add to his worrisome numbers against India, he has taken just 7 wickets in 4 Tests in India at an abysmal average of 50.14; he is yet to pick a fifer on Indian soil.
Even at home, he has failed to create magic with the ball as Starc allowed a spirited Indian side to slip away with a win in Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 on a dodgy Day 5 pitch at The Gabba, thanks to his wayward bowling. This performance costed Australia the series and a spot in World Test Championship (WTC) 2019-21 Final.
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Starc needs to step up on low & slow tracks to make an impact against India
Mitchell Starc is, without doubt, one of the best fast bowlers Australia has ever produced in recent times. He is a true match-winner for his side and when he gets going, there is no stopping back. We have all seen a glimpse of that in limited overs cricket specially from the 2015 World Cup where he ended his campaign with 22 wickets in just 8 games at an eye-catching average of 10.18, whilst maintaining a canny economy rate of 3.50 RPO.
Starc also managed to impress with his performance in the 2019 World Cup campaign in England where he surpassed the great Glenn McGrath's record by taking the most wickets in a single edition of the World Cup. Although Australia ended their 2019 WC campaign on a losing note, Starc had much to cherish about as he ended his campaign with 27 wickets at a staggering average and an economy rate of 18.59 and 5.43, respectively.
However, this is not the case on India pitches. On surfaces that are not ideal for seam bowling, Starc has often struggled to cause serious problems to Indian batters. On pitches that stay low, Starc will need to improvise his strategy and needs to find a way to bowl more tactfully. His presence in the side will really help the spinners utilise the rough created for right-handed batters which can in turn have a dramatic impact on the team’s fortunes.
The second Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 begins on February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
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