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Australia vs India: Virat Kohli backs Mitchell Starc after latter’s criticism

Starc was a tad lacklustre with the ball in the Test series.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

With two of their batting stalwarts- David Warner and Steve Smith– not in their ranks, the onus was on the Australian fast bowlers in the recently concluded four-match Test series against India. But one of their key speedsters in Mitchell Starc didn’t quite step up. He couldn’t hit the appropriate lengths on a consistent basis and therefore the Indian batsmen effortlessly got under his skins.

The left-armer could only pick up 13 wickets in four matches at an average of 34.53 and with an economy rate of 3.28, which is a pretty expensive one as far as Test cricket is concerned. Subsequently, he was severely criticised by some of the Aussie greats. Nevertheless, Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, was a tad surprised by the reactions and heaped praises on the 28-year-old from Baulkham Hills.

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“He is a very skilful bowler. He has got the right mindset. He has been your No.1 bowler for years now. I am a little surprised with the magnitude of the criticism that has come to him. If he is your best bowler, you give him space to work things out and not mount more pressure on him. Because you don’t want to lose a guy like that who is so skilled and wins games,” Kohli was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.

You have to curb yourself down

The Aussies are next scheduled to play Test cricket in the Ashes against England, starting August 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The series consists of five matches and the tour ends with the last Test from September 12 at the Kennington Oval in London. The 30-year-old Kohli also mentioned that one needs to sideline ego before playing the Dukes ball and be patient while batting against it.

“If you go out there with an ego, you might as well not go at all. Because that Dukes ball, it buries egos pretty quickly. You have to curb yourself down and do the hard yards. Grind it out the whole day. You have to be patient as a batsman. There’s lot of time in Test cricket. But sometimes we are so nervous as batsmen, we don’t quite realise it,” the Delhi-born cricketer added.

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