Starc was not happy with Smith’s decision to stop AB de Villiers
By Sandy - Mar 17, 2018 11:45 am
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Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc recently revealed their recent strategy to stop South African batsman AB de Villiers. However, Starc also revealed that he was not too happy with his captain’s strategy to stop one of the destructive batsmen in the cricket world.

AB de Villiers scored a match-winning century in the second Test at Durban

In the second Test match of the four-match ongoing Test series between the hosts South Africa and Australia at Port Elizabeth, South African batsman AB de Villiers played the most important knock of an unbeaten 126 runs. It was a counter-attacking knock which was also the game-changer knock as South Africa won the match at the end by 6 wickets and levelled the series by the 1-1 margin.

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On Friday, Starc revealed that once his skipper Steven Smith ordered him to bowl down to keep the right-handed destructive batsman off from the strike for next over. With the tail-enders, de Villiers played a counter-attacking knock. It was totally a game changer as South Africa earned 139-runs first innings lead with the help of tail-enders support.

However, Starc was not too happy with Smith’s strategy but he obeyed that instruction. The left-arm pacer quoted on that, “I can’t say I was too happy with that either. Look, if the captain tells me to do something I’m going to do it, aren’t I?”

Mitchell Starc

Speaking about the strategy to stop AB de Villiers for the next Test, which will begin on March 22 at Cape Town, Starc said, “We’ve had some lengthy discussions about some plans to him, things we might have to change, but he’s only human, and going forward there’s no doubt we can get him out. He seems to be able to play a couple of different shots to the same length ball, so your margin for error is a lot less to someone like him. So you’ve got to think outside the box a lot more with him.”

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Starc believes that they didn’t bowl enough good balls in the first innings of the second Test. The 28-years old Aussie prime pacer said, “A good ball’s still a good ball to any batter in world cricket, it’s just bowling them more consistently, changing the field a little bit and maybe cutting off a couple of scoring areas for him as well. That’s one thing we didn’t do well enough to him in the first innings (in Port Elizabeth), we didn’t bowl enough good balls. He’s allowed to play good cricket shots, but I think we didn’t bowl that really good ball consistently enough to him to build a bit of extra pressure on him and make him play the false shot.

Starc also believes that they can dismiss AB cheaply from the third Test. He stated, “It’s something we’ve spoken about as a bowling group and as a team, and hopefully that starts in Cape Town and we can get him out fairly cheaply.”

Starc feels that the Australian bowlers are pretty comfortable against the other South African batsmen. He claimed, “We feel we’re pretty comfortable against the rest of their batting line-up. I think we showed in the first Test how quickly we can go through them. But he (de Villiers) has been the lynchpin for them.”

Starc is also expecting that the Cape Town pitch might be a little more different if South African pacer Kagiso Rabada will miss for the third Test. Rabada has been suspended from the rest of the Test series.

However, the South African cricket team has challenged against that decision and the hearing date is on March 19.

Talking about the pitch of the third Test, Starc expressed his expectation by quoting, “If Rabada’s not playing, there might be a little more sideways movement with the newer ball for someone like Philander or Morne (Morkel), which obviously brings Josh or Pat into the mix as well,” he said. “We’re just going to have to adapt to the conditions that are put in front of us. But they (pitches) could change away from that – the reverse swing – without Rabada there.”