Starc admits to being unhappy over being dropped for T20 WC match vs Afghanistan

New Delhi: Australia’s left-arm fast-bowler Mitchell Starc said he was unhappy over being dropped for the Men’s T20 World Cup Super Eights match against Afghanistan last month, adding that fielding eventually led to the side’s surprise 21-run defeat at St Vincent.

Australia had replaced Starc with left-arm spin all-rounder Ashton Agar for the crucial game against Afghanistan to tie down their batters on a slow spin-aiding pitch. But that move didn’t yield desired results as Agar didn’t pick any wickets, with openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran having an opening stand of 118 runs, their third century stand of the competition.

“No – two World Cups in a row. Just the match-up, they saw previous games on that ground in St Vincent with spin playing a part and obviously Ash and the left-armer enticing them to make a change I think Ash bowled pretty well in the power play.

“They probably played the 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,” said Starc to the Willow Talk podcast.

After a sloppy fielding show, Australia’s batting crumbled in face of captain Rashid Khan and seam bowling all-rounder Gulbadin Naib to lose the game, which jeopardised their semi-finals hopes. After that, Australia suffered a defeat to eventual champions India in their last Super Eight game at St Lucia, which confirmed their exit from the competition.

Starc, who won IPL 2024 with the Kolkata Knight Riders, was also displeased with the scheduling and pre-seeding arrangements in the tournament that saw Australia advance to the hectic Super Eights stage in the Group 1, a pre-determined move despite topping Group B.

“We finished ahead of England and end up where we were pre-seeded as the second side. All of a sudden, you’re in a different group. The argument was it was because it was so hard to get around the West Indies, so fans knew where your team was playing. So then why don’t you have the chock-a-block tournament at the front and then spread it out at the back end?

“We had the two night games and the third was a day game, so it wasn’t the best preparation. We had a delayed flight out of St Vincent, it was a 90-minute drive from the airport to the hotel in St Lucia, and then we had a 10 o’clock toss.

“I think that was probably maybe a misread (by organisers), the fact that the front half of the tournament was more spread out, and then you hit the super eights and travel around the West Indies is probably not the easiest thing to do, certainly not to travel home from,” concluded Starc.



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