Mitchell Starc. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Mitchell Starc has once again brought the Indian top order to its knees in the ongoing second ODI at Visakhapatnam’s Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium. He took four early wickets before coming in again to finish things off in style by deservingly completing his fifer with the last Indian man.
Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bowl first on Sunday owing to the cloudy conditions looming over Vizag. Starc was quick to prove his captain’s decision right with Shubman Gill’s wicket on the innings’ third delivery itself. Starc drew Gill well outside off and the latter stretched his hands to play a shot over the point but the ball went straight into the hands of Marnus Labuschagne who was placed at the right position.
The 33-year-old left-arm pacer then produced his best over of the game with two back-to-back wickets in the fifth over. He first dismissed the returning Indian skipper Rohit Sharma with another outside-off delivery which took a big edge before Steve Smith grabbed it at first slip.
On the very next delivery, he trapped Suryakumar Yadav LBW, dismissing him on another golden duck. Notably, Starc dismissed Suryakumar in a similar fashion in the opening ODI as well, as Yadav was a little late while attempting a drive.
Starc then liquidated India’s hopes by picking up last match’s savior KL Rahul’s wicket in the ninth over. Rahul tried to flick the ball but got beaten by Starc’s pace thus falling to an lbw dismissal, the second of the match. Rahul reviewed the decision after consulting Virat Kohli at the non-striker’s end which proved to be no good.
Sean Abbott then further ripped apart India’s hopes for a big total with Hardik Pandya’s wicket in the 10th over with Steve Smith producing a world-class effort to take a flying catch at the slips. Virat Kohli stood firm against Starc and saved his wicket by scoring a valuable 31 off 35.
Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja added a 22-run stand for the sixth wicket as the duo seemed confident in bringing the hosts back on track. But Nathan Ellis dismissed both batters to reduce India to 92/7 after 20 overs.
Starc then came back and completed a five-for after finishing India’s innings off as he bowled out Mohammed Siraj with a scattering delivery in the 26th over. His five for 53 and two wickets each for Ellis and Abbott stumbled the hosts to just 117 runs in 26 overs.
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