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‘No – two World Cups in a row’ – Mitchell Starc not pleased with omission from team for Super 8s match against Afghanistan in T20 WC 2024

‘No – two World Cups in a row’ – Mitchell Starc not pleased with omission from team for Super 8s match against Afghanistan in T20 WC 2024

Mitchell Starc. (Source – Getty Images)

Not only were the Australian supporters perplexed when the team list was revealed at the toss, officially confirming the absence of pace-bowling spearhead, Mitchell Starc, in Australia’s second Super 8s match against Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup 2024, but the entire cricketing fraternity was also left questioning the rationale behind this decision.

Sure, Starc had not been in peak form during the tournament, having secured only three wickets in the four matches he had participated in by that point (he was rested for Australia’s final group-stage match against Namibia). However, the decision to exclude Starc from the XI baffled many, especially given his proven effectiveness and reliability during clutch moments.

Starc recently broached the subject in a discussion, alluding to the fact that he had been dropped in two consecutive T20 World Cups (referencing a similar exclusion against the same opposition in the 2022 edition). He appeared visibly displeased and proceeded to elucidate the rationale behind his substitution by Ashton Agar for the match on June 22, 2024. He explained that the spin-friendly conditions at the Arnos Vale Ground, combined with Agar being a left-arm spinner, were the primary factors influencing the decision.

Also Read: ‘I want us to go out to Australia and win it back’ – Ben Stokes determined for Ashes redemption

“No – two World Cups in a row. Just the match-up, they (team management) saw previous games on that ground in St. Vincent with spin playing a part and obviously Ash (Ashton) and the left-armer enticing them to make a change,” stated Starc on the Willow Talk podcast, as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald.

It was probably the fielding that cost us again that game: Starc 

Agar ultimately emerged as the most economical bowler for his side during the match, maintaining an impressive economy rate of just 4.25 runs per over. Referring to the left-arm spinner’s initial spell during the powerplay, where he conceded a mere two runs in his first two overs, Starc remarked that Afghanistan adapted to the conditions better than Australia. He noted that a few stumbles and collapses towards the end cost the Aussies the game.

However, Starc emphasized that what truly cost Australia the match were their fielding lapses, including five dropped catches, three missed run-out opportunities, and a botched stumping chance. This meant the game against India was a virtual quarter-final for them, in which they ultimately fell short by 24 runs.

Also Read: Winning in Australia gave me renewed energy to come back to Test cricket: Jason Holder

“I think Ash (Ashton Agar) bowled pretty well in the powerplay. They probably played spin quite well and batting first probably assessed the conditions a little bit better than we did, and had a couple of stumbles that in the end cost us the game. It was probably the fielding that cost us again that game. That meant we had to win against India and we fell short there as well,” added Starc.

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