Mitchell Starc accepts IPL reality test after bumper auction

After a challenging start that saw him conceding a combined 100 runs across his first two matches, Mitchell Starc bounced back with a n impressive performance against the Delhi Capitals. His figures of 2 for 25 in a high-scoring game underscored not just his skill but his experience, which came to the fore on a flat pitch.

Starc's journey in this season's IPL has been nothing short of dramatic. The weight of his INR 24.75 crore (approximately US$2.98 million) price tag loomed large as his initial outings fell short of expectations. However, in a testament to his character, Starc viewed these setbacks not as failures but as part of the unpredictable charm of T20 cricket.

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Mitchell Starc plays down individual performances

“In a game of T20, we all need a little bit of luck, a few edges go by, a dropped catch or two, that's T20 cricket,” Starc remarked after his game-changing performance. His ability to move on quickly, a necessity in the fast-paced world of T20, was evident in his reflections on the game.

“It can be brutal at times, particularly on the bowlers [in T20 cricket]. I think we've seen on some of the grounds, some of the scores… so yeah, you take a little bit of luck here and there. Yeah, we're three-nil at the start of the season, and tonight we were pretty clinical with bat and ball. Personal stuff aside, the team's start has been fantastic.”

Mitchell Starc KKR
Photo by Icon Sport

Despite personal challenges, Starc emphasized the team's success as the paramount achievement. With KKR racing to three consecutive wins, the focus for Starc was always on the collective goal rather than individual milestones.

Starc's words reflected the team-first attitude prevalent within the KKR camp which is almost always crucial to a team's success. This perspective is crucial in a tournament as grueling and competitive as the IPL, where team dynamics often dictate the trajectory of a team's season.

Starc's contributions in the match against the Delhi Capitals went beyond his bowling figures. By dismissing key batsmen like Mitchell Marsh and David Warner early in their innings, he set the tone for KKR's dominance in the game. These wickets, as Starc humorously noted, were “nice to have those ones in the pocket,” reflecting his relief and satisfaction in contributing significantly to the team's victory.

The narrative of Starc's redemption is not just a story of individual excellence but also a showcase of KKR's strategic acumen and the supportive environment fostered within the team.

Another example of this was Angkrish Raghuvanshi, the teenager who smashed a riveting fifty in the last game, which was his first in IPL.

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“He was fearless from ball one. When you see him, his work ethic is phenomenal. He is top notch in analysing situations and he is a smart batsman when it comes to reading the situation. The way he played today, the shots were literally pleasing to the eye,” skipper Shreyas Iyer remarked.

As KKR continues to build on their early-season momentum, Starc's has been one of many stories coming out of the camp. However, in a high-stakes competition like the IPL, where every game can be a roller-coaster, KKR will hope that their young team, with a few experienced star casts, can keep the momentum going.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India