Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of India’s tour due to a fractured foot and former captain Michael Clarke feels his absence is going to make Australia’s job more tougher of winning the series in sub-continent.
Ahead of the third Test in Ranchi, Australia have been dealt with a devastating blow with their prime bowler sustaining an injury in his sore foot, the one he has been complaining about since the Bengaluru Test. A fractured foot has caused Australia to lose out on their reliable performer for the remainder of the series.
Aware of what he is capable of with his lethal pace and on-the-face attitude, Clarke knows the blow has left Australian hopes in state of disarray and that, if they now wish to re-write history, a lot of effort from other bowlers would be required to put in.
Speaking to media on Friday, Clarke said Starc’s shoes are hard to fill and that Australia will miss him like anything.
“He (Mitchell Starc) will certainly be missed. It makes game ever tougher I guess for Australia.”
Starc has proved to be more than just a bowler to any side. During the first match in Pune, it was only his late resistance of 61 runs that helped Australia put up a decent total on the board. If then, his impact didn’t seem to worry much, his two wickets in one over in the first innings of Cheteshwar Pujara and that of big fish Virat Kohli on a duck set the tone for the Aussies in the game.
Riding on his blockbuster performance, Australia drew the first blood in some style. In the second match, Starc was productive with ball more than bat as in the second innings, he ripped apart India’s strong defense in the name of Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair in a fraction of two balls. By doing so, he minimized the flow of runs and restricted them to give a mere target of 187 runs to win. Though Australia lost, his efforts were largely noted in the books of critics.
Also, the ex-captain spoke about India’s poster-boy Virat Kohli, saying despite the lukewarm form he is in now, Virat is capable of turning the tables around on his terms. The Indian skipper has suffered a new low in the series, having failed to score a single half-century in the four innings played. Also, during the first game he got out on zero, his first as a leader and also in the Indian conditions.
The Indian captain came under fire recently in the eyes of Australian media, after they targeted him for being too expressive and showing dissent to visiting team players and officials. However, Clarke feels its Kohli’s aggression which has stormed him that far in international cricket and that is his greatest strength.
“I think aggression his one of his greatest strength. That’s a way he likes to play and that’s the way he has had success.”
India and Australia are now running 1-1 in the four match series, with the third match scheduled to take place in Ranchi on March 16.