Home » Aussies at the IPL 2024: Starc sizzles, Marsh flies home, Fraser-McGurk fires

Aussies at the IPL 2024: Starc sizzles, Marsh flies home, Fraser-McGurk fires

Starc finally sizzles after early struggles

Five games into the IPL, Mitchell Starc is starting to roll after claiming 3 for 28 in Kolkata’s Knight Riders’ big win over Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday night. Starc’s form had been a major talking point after his expensive start to the tournament given his huge price tag at the auction. But it is worth remembering he had not played any T20 cricket since the 2022 T20 World Cup when Australia’s selectors dropped him for the final game. He bowled the tough overs against LSG including three in the powerplay and the final over of the innings and had a huge impact. He delivered 12 dots in 18 deliveries in the powerplay and took the wicket of Deepak Hooda to stall LSG on a decent batting strip. His last over was outstanding. He bagged the dangerous Nicholas Pooran and then blew out Arshad Khan’s stumps off the last ball. He conceded one boundary, a streaky top edge, and one single in the final over with the other run coming via a leg bye as LSG only managed to post 161 for 7 before KKR ran that down in 15.4 overs with eight wickets in hand. Starc said after the match he is starting to get back into the tactical groove of T20 bowling.

“It’s T20 cricket; for the guys who have played a lot of Test cricket, this is definitely a lot easier physically,” he said. “It’s more [about] getting used to the tactical side of it. I haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket in the last couple of years, so it has probably taken me a little bit longer than I would have liked to get back into the rhythm of things and make a better impact. So today was nice in that regard.”

Marsh heads home and injuries worries mount

Mitchell Marsh has headed home to Perth after suffering a partial hamstring tear at the IPL and it is unknown as to whether he will return to India before the T20 World Cup. Marsh missed Delhi Capitals’ last two matches after scans revealed the injury over a week ago. He will head home to rehabilitate the injury with Australia’s team physio Nick Jones, who is also based in Perth. Meanwhile, Marsh’s Delhi teammate David Warner was hit on the finger on Friday while attempting to play a lap over short fine-leg. It is understood that Warner experienced some swelling and underwent scans upon landing in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
There were also some concerns over Glenn Maxwell’s right hand after he left the field and did not return during Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s loss to Mumbai Indians last Thursday. Maxwell copped a blow on the right hand as he dropped a hot chance off Suryakumar Yadav at backward point. He immediately winced in pain and left the field holding his index and middle fingers. It is understood Maxwell had a scan that night in Mumbai and has been monitored ahead of RCB’s clash with Sunrisers on Monday night. RCB director of cricket Mo Bobat said on Sunday Maxwell is “okay at the minute” and “there’s no injury concerns”.

Maxwell’s batting misery continues, Green dropped

If the blow to the hand wasn’t enough, Maxwell’s batting woes have only added to the pain. He bagged his third duck of the tournament against Mumbai. After the extra pace of Mayank Yadav and Nandre Burger had brought him unstuck in his previous two games, he surprisingly fell to the legspin of Shreyas Gopal against Mumbai when he was trapped lbw failing to pick a wrong’ un. Maxwell has scores of 0, 3, 28, 0, 1 and 0 in the tournament so far. There is still a long way to go in the IPL and plenty of time to find some touch ahead of the T20 World Cup, which is also a long tournament that could feature plenty of fluctuations in form for individual players. But he will be hoping to find some form soon to build some confidence heading to the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, Cameron Green’s hopes of making Australia’s T20 World Cup squad have taken another blow after he was dropped from RCB’s line-up for the match against Mumbai. Green had also failed to make his mark with both bat and ball in his first five games. He had been shuffled around in the order moving from No. 3 to No. 5. RCB opted to replace Green with Englishman Will Jacks at No. 3 against Mumbai Indians without success. Unless Green can regain his place in RCB’s XI and put some performances on the board, it will be tough for him to make Australia’s 15-man squad for the World Cup. His only other chance would be if Marsh was not able to recover from his hamstring injury.

Fraser-McGurk fires on IPL debut

One beneficiary of Marsh’s injury was Australian youngster Jake Fraser-McGurk who made a big statement on IPL debut for Delhi Capitals as he smashed 55 off 35 balls in their much-needed win over LSG. The 22-year-old had been a controversial replacement for Lungi Ngidi given Delhi’s bowling woes but he repaid Ricky Ponting’s faith and belief in his ability with a stunning innings that featured five sixes. He hit his second ball in the IPL for six and smacked another just three balls later to burst out of the blocks. He slowed down thereafter and was 25 off 23 at one stage but didn’t panic. He then proved he can hit spin as well as pace, clubbing Krunal Pandya for three successive sixes. Two of them were inside-out with the spin over cover and long-off. His 77-run stand with Rishabh Pant broke the back of the chase. Fraser-McGurk is still a fair way down the pecking order of Australia’s top-order options for the World Cup. But if he gets on a roll at the IPL and Australia have any injury concerns closer to the tournament, then he will be seriously considered as a power-hitting option in the top-order.