Starc entered day two at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) needing just one more scalp to bring up 200 Test dismissals but it wasn’t to be for the Australia quick who proved to be expensive once again.
Devoid of any confidence, Starc looked extremely lacklustre as he sprayed the ball to all parts of the pitch on day two. His 200th scalp will have to wait another innings with the Australian pacer going wicketless on Friday.
Starc conceded 48 runs from the eight overs he threw down on the second day, taking his overall match figures to 1-123. The 26 overs he has thrown down is the most bowled by any Australian bowler in a home Test innings since 1979-80 without registering a single maiden over.
Following Starc’s poor show, Paine admitted that the pacer was down on confidence.
Most overs bowled without a maiden by an Aussie at home since six-ball overs were introduced (1979/80):— Ethan (@ethan_meldrum) January 4, 2019
26.0: Mitchell Starc v Ind, 2019
20.0: Murray Bennett v WI, 1984
19.0: Mitchell Starc v SL, 2013#AusvInd
“He’s down on confidence a little bit, and I think sometime people just forget that he’s just a bloke who’s trying his best,” the Australian skipper stated at the end of the day’s play.
“He’s not running out trying to spray the ball everywhere, that’s what I don’t get with the criticism he’s getting.
“Mitchell Starc is trying his absolute best to do the same thing he did a year ago when he was swinging the ball around corners.”
Following his exertions in the ongoing Test battle, Starc has been handed a rest and will play no part in the upcoming ODI series between Australia and India. Paine has urged the left-armer to rediscover his best during this period of rest.
“He’s going to have a bit of time off during the one-day series so there’s some time for him to go back and look at maybe what’s going wrong at the moment. Has he been at his best in this series? No he hasn’t. Has he been (at this best) for a little while? Probably not. Starcy knows that. He’s working on it,” Paine explained.
Australia’s bowlers were put through the grind once again on day two by the Indian batsmen with the visitors racking up a mammoth 622-7 in their first innings. Trailing 1-2 in the four-match series, Paine and his men are now on the brink of a maiden Test series loss to India on home soil.
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