Mitchell Starc paving back into the T20 groove, ahead of World Cup 2024

Mitchell Starc, the Australian left-arm fast bowler, has found his rhythm just in time for the upcoming T20 World Cup. After a slow start in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), Starc delivered a match-winning performance for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) against the Lucknow Super Giants.

Mitchell Starc, the Australian fast bowler, has finally found his footing in the IPL 2024 season after a slow start. With only two wickets in his first four matches, Starc was under pressure to perform, especially after being bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a record-breaking INR 24.75 crore. However, in his latest outing against Lucknow Super Giants, Starc took three wickets and conceded only 28 runs, marking a significant turnaround in his form.

Until Sunday evening, Mitchell Starc had only two wickets across four IPL matches this season, while averaging 77 with an economy rate of 11. That after he became the most expensive player ever in the IPL, in the last auction, with a salary of INR 24.75 crore. But Starc turned his form around with 3 for 28 against Lucknow Super Giants at Eden Gardens, as Kolkata Knight Riders eventually dominated the chase of 162 for an eight-wicket win.

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Starc’s struggle to adjust to the T20 format was evident in his initial matches, where he conceded four sixes in his first match and failed to take pace off the ball. However, he showed improvement in his subsequent games, increasing his dot balls and getting a hang of death bowling. His performance against LSG was a testament to his perseverance and ability to adapt.

Until recently, Starc’s IPL campaign had been lackluster. Despite being the most expensive player in the last auction with a salary of INR 24.75 crore, he had managed only two wickets across four matches, averaging 77 with an economy rate of 11. The pressure was mounting, and expectations were high.

Starc’s return to form is crucial for KKR, who have been struggling with their bowling attack. With Sunil Narine, Harshit Rana, and Andre Russell or Varun Chakaravarthy taking care of the middle overs, Starc’s performance in the slog overs can make a significant difference. His ability to bowl yorkers and vary his pace will be essential in containing the opposition’s scoring rate .

Starc’s journey back to form wasn’t straightforward. He returned to the IPL this year after a hiatus since 2015. Moreover, since the T20 World Cup in 2022, he had played just two T20 matches in one-and-a-half years before arriving in India for the ongoing tournament. The left-armer admitted that he was still adjusting to the “tactical side” of the shortest format.

“It’s T20 cricket,” Starc explained. “For players accustomed to Test cricket, this format is physically easier. However, it’s more about getting used to the tactical nuances.”

Moreover, Starc’s performance has implications for the upcoming T20 World Cup. As one of the premier fast bowlers in the world, Starc’s form will be crucial for Australia’s chances in the tournament. With Pat Cummins also finding his groove in the IPL, the duo’s performance will be key to Australia’s success in the World Cup.

In conclusion, Starc’s return to form in the IPL 2024 season is a welcome sign for KKR and the Australian team. His ability to adapt to the T20 format and his perseverance in the face of adversity are testaments to his skill and determination. As the IPL continues and the T20 World Cup approaches, Starc’s performance will be closely watched by fans and critics alike.