Mitchell Starc expresses displeasure at being dropped for T20 WC game against Afghanistan

The 2021 T20 World Cup champions suffered a shocking 21-run loss to Afghanistan, which dealt a massive blow to Australia's chances of entering the semifinals.

Published - July 11, 2024 11:15 am IST - Sydney

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has expressed his displeasure at being dropped for the crucial T20 World Cup Super Eights match against Afghanistan in the Caribbean, saying he was not one bit amused by the team management’s decision.

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has expressed his displeasure at being dropped for the crucial T20 World Cup Super Eights match against Afghanistan in the Caribbean, saying he was not one bit amused by the team management’s decision. | Photo Credit: Gareth Copley

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has expressed his displeasure at being dropped for the crucial T20 World Cup Super Eights match against Afghanistan in the Caribbean, saying he was not one bit amused by the team management's decision.

The 2021 T20 World Cup champions suffered a shocking 21-run loss to Afghanistan, which dealt a massive blow to Australia's chances of entering the semifinals.

Australia had replaced Starc with Ashton Agar for the match but the left-arm spinner, despite tying down the Afghanistan batters, could not take any wickets.

"No — two World Cups in a row," Starc was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald on Willow Talk podcast when quizzed about his omission and whether he was amused by the decision.

"Just the match-up, they (team management) saw previous games on that ground in St Vincent with spin playing a part and obviously Ash (Ashton) and the left-armer enticing them to make a change," he added.

This was the second occasion in a row where the Australian pacer was dropped for a T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan, with the previous one being in Adelaide in 2022 where also the hosts failed to reach the last four stage.

Agar and the two Australian pace spearheads, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, were unable to break the partnership between openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, who ended up making 118 runs.

"I think Ash bowled pretty well in the powerplay. They probably played the spin quite well and batting first probably assessed the conditions a little bit better than we did, and had a couple of stumbles that in the end cost us the game," said Starc.

"It was probably the fielding that cost us again that game. That meant we had to win against India and we fell short there as well." Australia then went on to lose to India in Super Eights and were later eliminated from the competition.

Starc also expressed his displeasure with the scheduling of the tournament and pre seeding that saw them advance to the pre determined group despite topping the group stage.

"We finished ahead of England (in the group stage) and end up where we were pre-seeded as the second side. All of a sudden, you're in a different group." "The argument was it was because it was so hard to get around the West Indies, so fans knew where your team was playing.

"So then why don't you have the chock-a-block tournament at the front... and then spread it out at the back end? We had the two night games and the third was a day game, so it wasn't the best preparation. We had a delayed flight out of St Vincent, it was a 90-minute drive from the airport to the hotel in St Lucia, and then we had a 10 o'clock toss.

He added that the travelling between venues in the West Indies is always difficult.

"I think that was probably maybe a misread [by organisers], the fact that the front half of the tournament was more spread out, and then you hit the super eights and … travel around the West Indies is probably not the easiest thing to do, certainly not to travel home from.”

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