Mitchell Starc has gone back to Australia from the ongoing Test series against India with a foot injury, but his mind remains glued to the intriguing contest. Apart from intense on-field rivalry with the series tied at 1-1, the four-match competition has seen players engaging in sledging and banter.
Among such incidents, one prominent one was when the Australian fast bowler was given a cheeky send-off by Ravichandran Ashwin during the second Test in Bangalore. The Indian off-spinner tapped his forehead after he dismissed Starc in the second innings.
Ashwin’s reaction came after Starc had a made an almost similar gesture to Ashwin’s Tamil Nadu state teammate Abhinav Mukund, when the latter was treated with some short-pitched deliveries.
Starc, in a jest, said he would want to try bowling the same to Ashwin, when India tour Australia next. “I look forward to bowling to Ashwin in Australia. (I might) take his advice and hit him on the badge,” Starc told cricket.co.au.
‘Banter more from India’s side’
Starc, who is out of the series with a right foot fracture, also accused Virat Kohli-led India to be the team that engaged in sledging more than the visitors. “(The on-field banter has) probably come a lot more from their side than ours. There was a lot made of it before the series and there was so much hype before the series. I think we’ve just gone about the cricket that we have done for a long period of time now,” he said.
“(Australia’s fighting draw in the third Test) shows how we are as a group and the Indians have come hard, it’s almost a defence mechanism for them. We won the first Test match, we (were there) for the challenge, they were scared of us beating them in India the way they’ve been playing “So it was almost like a defence mechanism for them and they obviously came out in the second Test match and performed really, really well and got back in (the series).”