Australia surprised everyone by sending Mitchell Starc at No.5 in the third ODI against India at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. Starc was expected to attack the bowlers, especially left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who was dominating Australian batsmen. Captain Aaron Finch has revealed there was nothing spontaneous about the decision.
Starc came ahead of recognised batsmen like Alex Carey, Ashton Agar and Ashton Turner and was the first time that Starc batted ahead of No 7 in an ODI. However, the plan backfired after he was dismissed for a duck after three balls while trying to slog Jadeja over deep mid-wicket.
In the post-match press conference after the series loss, Finch said the decision was a pre-planned move.
“Myself and Andrew (McDonald) spoke about it before the first game. We felt as though Mumbai probably wasn’t the right surface, but felt here was. Especially against Jadeja, the left-arm spinner spinning it into him,” Finch said.
“He just didn’t hit it out of the middle. I still support the move 100 per cent, it just didn’t come off today. But it was definitely an aggressive move,” said the Australian captain.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 19, 2020
The left-arm pacer has hit 50 sixes in international cricket and has a reputation of being a big-hitter lower down the order.
After the move to promote him up the order failed, Starc’s outing with the ball was also a forgettable one. He remained wicketless and gave 66 runs in nine overs he bowled. In the second ODI of the series at Rajkot, he went for 78 runs, his second-most expensive bowling figures in ODI cricket.
The 29-year-old’s wife Alyssa Healy who is a wicketkeeper-batswoman for Australia had also reacted to Starc’s dismissal on Twitter saying:
— Alyssa Healy (@ahealy77) January 19, 2020
The last time Australia sent an explosive bowling all-rounder up the order was against England in 2011. Mitchell Johnson was promoted up the order and his 59-ball 57 helped Australia chase down the total of 333 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines