Mitchell Starc's $4.4m bounceback in IPL as Mitch Marsh news leaves cricket fans saddened

The Aussie cricket star has been widely criticised over his start to the IPL tournament.

Mitchell Starc has produced his best performance of the IPL cricket tournament so far, taking three wickets on Sunday as Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Lucknow Super Giants. The Aussie cricket star has copped a raft of backlash for failing to vindicate his $4.4 million contract so far this tournament, but bounced back in trademark fashion on Sunday.

After a rough start to his spell with Kolkata in which he went wicketless in three of his first four games, the $4.43 million man finally looked the part against Lucknow. His three-wicket performance set the home side on their way to an eight-wicket win over the Justin Langer-coached Super Giants.

Mitchell Starc and Mitch Marsh in the IPL.
Mitchell Starc bounced back with three wickets, while Mitch Marsh has flown home from the IPL. Image: Getty/IPL

The 34-year-old, who went for 11 runs per over in his first four matches while taking just two wickets, was hit for boundaries off his first two full-length deliveries by Quinton de Kock and conceded 10 off his first six balls on Sunday. But he recovered strongly, getting Deepak Hooda caught brilliantly at point by Ramandeep Singh in his third over.

Starc then produced some stingy death bowling in the 20th over, getting the ever-dangerous Nicolas Pooran caught behind for 45 and conceding just six more off the over. The final ball of the innings castled Arshad Khan with a trademark yorker from Starc.

The Aussie's figures of 3-28 kept Lucknow to a total of 7-161, and the target proved easy pickings as English opener Phil Salt blasted an unbeaten 89 off just 47 balls, and captain Shreyas Iyer (38 not out from 28) got KKR home with 4.2 overs to spare. Starc was delighted with his bounceback performance, saying: "Nice to contribute, to make an impact. We were pretty good throughout the innings, generally pretty good with the ball."

The Aussie revealed how he changed his tactics after his first two balls went for boundaries. "The way I've gone about it for a long time is to pitch it up and swing it but very quickly, you learn on this wicket it's probably not the way to go about it, you just have to bring that length back," he said. "We just pulled back a little bit, let the wicket do what it did and and sort of settled into that half-length. Nice to have an impact with the ball today."

Mitchell Starc, pictured here after taking the wicket of Deepak Hooda in the IPL.
Mitchell Starc celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Deepak Hooda in the IPL.

Mitch Marsh flies home from IPL with hamstring injury

Meanwhile, cricket fans have been left saddened for Mitch Marsh after the Aussie all-rounder flew home from the IPL with a hamstring injury. The Delhi Capitals confirmed on Sunday that Marsh had been sent home after picking up a minor niggle, which comes seven weeks out from the Twenty20 World Cup.


But in good news for Australian cricket officials, Marsh is yet to be officially ruled out of the rest of the IPL and isn't thought to be in any serious doubt for June's World Cup in the Caribbean and America. Marsh, who will likely captain Australia at the global tournament, shapes as one of Australia's most important players.

Marsh had missed the Capitals' last two games in the IPL with the niggle, and officials decided the short flight back to Perth would allow him to recover better at home. The West Australian had made scores of 20, 23, 18 and 0 in his first four games.

But Marsh's pain comes as a boost for compatriot Jake Fraser-McGurk, who blasted 55 from 35 balls in a recent win over the Super Giants and is set for more playing time. Teammate David Warner, who will play his last matches for Australia at the T20 World Cup, also took a blow to the finger while batting against Lucknow and is in some doubt for upcoming games.

with AAP