Gautam Gambhir disrespects Mitchell Starc, quashes claims of pacer delivering the ball of IPL 2024 to Abhishek Sharma

Published - 30 May 2024, 02:51 PM | Updated - 30 May 2024, 03:41 PM

Gautam Gambhir and Mitchell Starc
Gautam Gambhir and Mitchell Starc (Image Credits: Twitter)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor Gautam Gambhir praised left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc for his impressive performance in the playoffs of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL). However, Gautam Gambhir stated that Abhishek Sharma's dismissal off of Mitchell Starc in the final match was not unplayable.

The Knight Riders defeated SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Chennai on Sunday, May 26. Mitchell Starc played a crucial role in helping the Knight Riders secure their third title in IPL history. The left-arm pacer was named "Player of the Match" for his 2/14 in the summit clash of the recently concluded season.

The 34-year-old also secured "Player of the Match" in Qualifier 1 against SunRisers Hyderabad. The Australian pacer picked up three wickets for 34 runs. He provided breakthroughs with the new ball in both playoff matches. He became the first player to win POTM twice in the playoffs in a single season.

Mitchell Starc Will Become The X-Factor - Gautam Gambhir

In a conversation with Sportskeeda, Gautam Gambhir stated that the franchise had belief in Mitchell Starc's ability to excel in crucial moments. Gambhir mentioned that they always considered Starc the X-factor and highlighted that his contribution to the team was invaluable.

"We had absolutely no doubt that Starc will become the X-factor for us in the tournament. We always knew he was the X-Factor and he will become one at the right time. I mean, what other big matches could be there in the IPL? It was the Qualifier 1 and the Final."

"That is why I say that the big players wait for such occasions, they thrive on these occasions. Money is irrelevant. What Starc brings to the team was more important," Gambhir told Sportskeeda.

Mitchell Starc was signed by KKR for a record-breaking bid of INR 24.75 crore last year. Starc faced criticism after conceding 100 runs in his first two matches without taking any wickets. However, he concluded the marquee T20 tournament with 17 wickets at an average of 26.12 and an economy rate of 10.61.

No Delivery Is Unplayable - Gautam Gambhir

Mitchell Starc initiated Sunrisers Hyderabad's collapse with an away-swinger on the fifth of the first over in the IPL 2024 final. Starc set the tone for KKR as the Pat Cummins-led team bowled out SRH for 113 runs. Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden praised the delivery as the 'ball of the IPL.'

Gautam Gambhir emphasized that technically no delivery is unplayable, but Mitchell Starc's ball in the final was exceptionally close to being unplayable. Gambhir highlighted that top-tier players like Starc will rise to the occasion when their team needs them most.

"You expect a bowler of this quality to bowl this kind of a delivery. When you bring these kinds of players, they step up when you need them the most. KKR needed Mitchell Starc in the Qualifier 1 and the Final, and he put his hand up and he delivered."

"I don't know whether I should say that was an unplayable delivery or not, because we were taught that no delivery is unplayable, but it was certainly very close to unplayable," Gambhir added.

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