Aussie $4m man finally fires

Mitchell Starc has returned his best figures in this year’s IPL. Picture: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP
Mitchell Starc has returned his best figures in this year’s IPL. Picture: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

Mitchell Starc says he never at any stage was distracted or pressured by the growing noise around him after the IPL’s $4m delivered his best return after a slow start to the tournament.

Before a three-wicket haul for his Kolkata Knight Riders in a big win over the Lucknow Super Giants at Eden Gardens, Starc had only two wickets across four IPL matches this season, averaging 77 with an economy rate of 11.

It was an unexpected return from the most expensive player ever in the IPL and added pressure to the veteran fast bowler.

But the Australian star said his bubble was never breached by the growing din and the very nature of T20 meant he was always going to get his chance to shine.

“I don’t read anything, so that doesn’t bother me,” he said after snaring 3-28.

“I haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket in the last couple of years, so it has probably taken me a little bit longer than I would have liked to get back into the rhythm of things and make a better impact, so today was nice in that regard.”

Starc has opted against playing in the IPL for the best part of a decade but chose to take part in the competition this year ahead of the T20 World Cup that begins just six days after the IPL ends on May 26.

The 34-year-old is set to play a key role for Australia and said despite his big pay cheque in India he’d be monitoring his workload closely, with all IPL teams playing 14 matches travelling around the country before he heads to the World Cup.

“I’m 34, so I’m pretty good with my workloads,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this (for) a long time. We play again on Tuesday, and I think that’s a feature of T20 cricket.

“Whether you have a good day or a bad day, games come around so quickly that you can’t really think about what’s been; you quickly focus on the next game.”

Before that, though, Starc said he had some golf to play to help him keep away from the constant pressure of the IPL.

“Golf every day of the week if I could,” he said.

“But it was nice to have an impact with the ball today and we’ll get to a bit of golf in at Royal Calcutta through the next couple of weeks, I’m sure.”