Had things panned out differently, Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Starc could have been competing with each other for the slot of the left-arm pacer in the NSW Blues side. As things turned out, Bollinger and Starc might well line up against each other when Chennai Super Kings takes on NSW Blues in its final league game next week.
While the 30-year old Bollinger is the most successful player in Champions League T20, having won it with the Blues in the inaugural edition (2009) and with CSK the next year, Starc, 21, is still finding his feet as a bowler in the sub-continent.
“The biggest thing so far has been the heat and dealing with it, as opposed to back in Australia where at the moment it's only started to heat up. As for the wickets, (we are used to) a bit more pace and bounce back home.
“In the 20-over format you have to bowl a lot more of slower balls and variations as opposed to seam up and the stock deliveries,” said Starc, on his current challenge.
Starc, who has a less round-arm action than Mitchell Johnson, says he has not deliberately modelled himself on the Australian, but has nonetheless approached him for advice, especially on bowling in Indian conditions. “No, I haven't modelled myself on Mitch, I get that a lot lately, the past couple of years I've been compared to him. I've spoken a fair bit to him though and had the opportunity to play with him as well during the tour of India (when he made his ODI debut) last year, that's been a big plus for me,” said the Blues paceman.
CSK, like NSW Blues, started off with a loss but made amends in thrilling fashion the next match.
The defending champion came back from the brink against Cape Cobras after losing to Mumbai Indians earlier, and Bollinger said it was the win that mattered.
“It was a good game to win (against Cobras), the kind of game you want to win.
“We would love to win by 50 runs every game but it's not going to happen. Getting out of jail is not a bad thing, as long as we win,” said Bollinger.
Bollinger who went wicketless for 36 runs in 3.5 overs in the loss against Mumbai Indians, said he did not do anything different in the game against Cape Cobras.
“It happens you know, I got smoked against Mumbai. Eleven off one over and I thought I could do it, but I came out and bowled well (two for 25) the next game.
“There is not much one can do, just hope to come out and execute well, it happens (getting hit as a bowler) in cricket, that's why you love and hate the game,” said Bollinger.