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'I might keep that one in the back pocket' - Starc wins bragging rights vs Head

"That's why you pay big money to big-game players," Tom Moody says of Starc's second-ball wicket of Travis Head

Mitchell Starc has had a patchy IPL 2024, but he brought his experience and nous of playing in "some big games and big occasions" when it mattered by running through the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) top order in Qualifier 1 in Ahmedabad.
Starc bowled three overs in the powerplay and sent back Travis Head off the second ball of the game, and Nitish Kumar Reddy and Shahbaz Ahmed, the last two off consecutive balls in the fifth over.
"I guess I have played a fair bit of cricket so I have been fortunate enough to play in some big games and some big occasions," Starc said between innings on the official broadcast after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had stopped SRH for 159. "Nine months ago [in the ODI World Cup final] we were here in front of a full stadium. It was nice to get the team off to a good start that we needed [today].
"We know the powerplay wickets are very important. The way Sunrisers take on the powerplay, they have sort of matched us throughout the season in terms of getting off to good starts. It was great to get powerplay wickets and I think our bowling group was fantastic throughout."
Starc got the ball to seam from the outset and struck with his second ball, castling his Australia team-mate Head with one that shaped back in sharply. Vaibhav Arora then sent back Abhishek Sharma for 3 as SRH lost their big-hitting openers inside two overs. Starc bowled his third over inside the powerplay and first removed Reddy with a short-of-a-length ball that the batter skied with an attempted pull, and then hit Shahbaz's middle pole off the inside edge.
But Head's wicket was one that Starc enjoyed the most, and one he wants to keep in his "back pocket".
"I might keep that one in the back pocket for when he starts to give me some niggle and I have to pull it out on him," Starc said. "He's been phenomenal through the tournament. But we knew he was going to be a big wicket.
"Obviously Abhishek for them at the top as well. That partnership has been key for them, so to get both of them pretty cheap was great and we got set on our way today."
"Class from Starc. We know that he has had a difficult three-quarters of the tournament, but that's why you pay big money to big-game players"
Tom Moody on the Travis head wicket
After the match, and after Starc had won the Player-of-the-Match award, Ravi Shastri brought up the fact that Starc had pulled his length back a bit in the early overs. "Yeah, spot on. Particularly with the way Trav and Abhishek have been playing throughout the series, they like the width [and to] free their arms," Starc said. "So if we can get that ball swinging and keep it in line with the stumps and bowl a really hard length, which we really did in the powerplay, and that really got into their middle order…"
Starc's delivery to remove Head left Tom Moody impressed as well. "Class from Starc. We know that he has had a difficult three-quarters of the tournament, but that's why you pay big money to big-game players," he said on ESPNcricinfo's TimeOut show.
On asked about the conditions, Starc conceded there was dew, which started to appear about halfway through the SRH innings. He said he expected the surface to get better to bat on in the second innings.
"There is certainly dew now. It started to pick up through probably halfway through our innings. The wicket has got a bit skiddier. There is some swing. Our spinners found a way to be effective and take wickets," Starc said. "The wicket is going to get a little bit better just with the dew and the bit of skid but in turn, it is also going to swing a little bit."