Mitchell Starc in action for KKR in IPL 2024© AFP

It has been a tough start to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season for Mitchell Starc after the Australian cricket team fast bowler was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a record Rs 24.75 crore in the auction. Starc has not taken any wicket in the two matches and against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday, he ended up conceding 47 runs in 4 overs. Former Indian cricket team fast bowler Irfan Pathan believes that Starc is the most dangerous bowler when the ball is swinging but due to either pitches or playing conditions, he has not been effective in this year’s competition till now.

“Starc is at his best when he is swinging the ball in. When that looping swing starts to the right-hand batter, it can be lethal. And I haven’t seen that in the last two games. The head could just be staying on the ball a bit more, or it could just be the pitches, or it could just be getting used to Indian conditions. Once he starts getting that inswing, he will be a bowler to watch out for throughout the IPL,” Pathan said on Star Sports.

Australia cricketer Steve Smith also weighed in on the subject and he had a huge advice for his teammate.

“I think today he was looking to wobble the ball across the right-handed batter, which is a good option, but I feel like he’s got to swing it back down the line. He is a left-hand fast bowler who can bowl at 145+ KMPH. There’s nothing like a ball swinging back into a right-handed batsman. It’s one of the hardest balls to face. So I’d like to see that first and use that one as a variation to trying to nick off from them,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, a  ruthless fifty by Venkatesh Iyer worked as the catalyst for Kolkata Knight Riders’ smooth seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Venkatesh’s 50 of 30 balls (3×4, 4×6) and stunning blitzes by openers Sunil Narine (47, 22b, 2×4, 5×6) and Phil Salt (30, 20b, 2×4, 2×6) propelled the Knight Riders past the 183-run target that the RCB set for them, which was built around Virat Kohli‘s skillful unbeaten 83.

(With PTI inputs)

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