'Gone mad': Aussies under fire over 'extraordinary' Mitchell Starc blunder

The Aussies caused widespread confusion in the third ODI against India on Sunday night when Mitchell Starc came out to bat at No.5.

Starc shocked everyone on Sunday when he walked out in the 32nd over ahead of more recognised batsmen Alex Carey, Ashton Turner and Ashton Agar.

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The plan for the quick to up the scoring didn't come off, as he found the cow corner fielder for a third-ball duck as he looked to take down Ravindra Jadeja.

Australia managed a below-par 9-286 from their 50 overs, before India cruised to victory with seven wickets and 15 balls to spare to clinch the series 2-1.

Starc is not a noted batsman and had not walked out before No.7 in his one-day career before Sunday.

Mitchell Starc came out to bat at No.5. Image: Fox Cricket

However he is renowned for hitting spinners long in Test cricket, and has a big arc swinging down the ground.

Skipper Aaron Finch revealed after the match how the plan was hatched by himself and stand-in coach Andrew McDonald before the series even started in Mumbai.

"Myself and Andrew spoke about it before the first game," Finch said.

"We felt as though Mumbai probably wasn't the right surface, but felt here was.

"Especially against Jadeja, the left-arm spinner spinning it into him. He just didn't hit it out of the middle.

"I still support the move 100 per cent, it just didn't come off today. But it was definitely an aggressive move."

Fair to say the cricket world was pretty baffled by the move, with Starc’s wife Alyssa Healy even taking to social media in shock.

Not the first time for Australia

Australia haven't employed such a tactic from a front-line bowler since Mitchell Johnson hit 57 off 59 to help them chase down England's 333 at the SCG in 2011.

Runs through the later overs were a problem for Australia in their two losses in India, as Turner and Agar failed to back up Steve Smith's brilliance.

But Finch claimed the move was as much about disrupting India's plans, believing it could force them to bring on the pace bowlers earlier and stop them from having their quicks at the end.

"We felt as though it was an aggressive move, especially against the left-arm spin," Finch said.

"He can smack a few and if he went out there and hit a couple of sixes.

"We were hoping it could potentially change their tactics and they would have to bring one of their quicks back earlier.

"That just didn't happen."