India vs Australia: 169 balls, 4 wickets - Chance for Australia’s spearhead to reverse fortunes, India wary
The first match of the India vs Australia series will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It will then be followed by matches in Rajkot and Bengaluru. All the three pitches are absolute featherbeds, surfaces on which the batsmen can plant their front foot and keep carting the bowlers away. However, this series might be different as both sides have top quality bowlers who have the ability to run through oppositions.
In many ways, Mitchell Starc will be the leader of the Australian pack, but, then his numbers against the famed Indian top order is nothing to write home about. Also, his last international match in India came 10 years ago, which makes him relatively green.
We take a look at his numbers:
Mitchell Starc vs Rohit Sharma: In 5 innings, he has given away 65 runs and has managed to dismiss the right-hander only once. Rohit has faced 71 balls so far.
Mitchell Starc vs Shikhar Dhawan: In 4 innings, he has given away 23 runs and has got the better of Dhawan on 3 occasions. Dhawan has faced 41 balls so far.
Mitchell Starc vs Virat Kohli: The Indian captain has won this contest - in 4 innings, Starc has given away 56 runs in 57 balls and has not been able to dismiss Kohli even once.
The numbers scream out a pattern, but numbers mean only so much in the game. Starc is a man in form and he was one of the standout performers in the Australian summer - both with the white and red ball. The Indian camp is not too bothered with these ‘mediocre’ returns.
“I don’t think that not having played in India [recently] will be much of a factor for him, because he’s played a lot over here,” Virat Kohli said on Monday. “And anyone who has pace, once they find their length they can adjust anywhere, so pace is always going to be an advantage. But having said that we have played against these guys a lot.”
“He is a very skillful bowler and he’s changed his action now, which we saw him getting more swing. Looks like he’s back to swinging the ball like he used to, and that makes him a lethal bowler all over again,” Kohli further added.
The left-armer will be keen to improve his numbers and this should make for compelling viewing.