KKR to blame for Mitchell Starc's early struggle in IPL 2024? Ricky Ponting explains the key reason

Updated - 27 May 2024, 05:28 PM

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc [PC: X]

Mitchell Starc has pretty much justified his huge price tag with his starring performance for Kolkata Knight Riders in the recently concluded IPL 2024. The Kolkata-based outfit raised a number of eyebrows by making him the most expensive player in the history of the league.

They spent a staggering Rs 24.75 crore to secure his services in the last audition. The Australia pacer struggled to do well in the first half of the competition and faced severe criticism. In the first nine games, he managed to pick up only seven wickets at an average of 47.14 and an economy of 11.78.

However, he roared back to form at the business end of the tournament and delivered a string of match-winning performances to power KKR to the title. Mitchell Starc's campaign took a turn when he picked up 4 wickets against Mumbai Indians to help his team win a game against the five-time champions at the Wankhede Stadium after 12 years.

He then delivered Player of the Match performances in the first qualifier and the final to finish the tournament on a high. The World Cup winner also created history by clinching two Player of the Match awards in the playoffs in a season. In the final, he dismissed the dangerous Abhishek Sharma in the very first over before dismissing Rahul Tripathi in the fifth over to put KKR in the driver's seat.

Ricky Ponting on Mitchell Starc's performance in IPL 2024:

With Mitchell Starc ending the campaign on a good note, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting explained the possible reason that could have affected his performance at the start of the season. The legendary cricketer stated that the huge price tag and the conditions at Eden Gardens were the key reasons behind his struggle early in the tournament.

"The expectation that comes with the price tag sometimes it makes players push out a little bit harder and try to do more than they need to do. You know, conditions where Mitch is bowling at Eden Gardens, the ball didn't really swing much there this year, and the ground is like, like it's a small ground and the outfield's like concrete," Ponting told ICC.

"And when you're bowling at Starc's pace, inside edges that just make their way through the field end up going for four. It's not the easiest place in the world to bowl fast, but, you know, if we go to the Caribbean where the wind's a little bit slower and the ball's not flying off the bat quite as hard, then Starc will have an impact," he added.

Starc will be seen in action next when the T20 World Cup 2024 gets underway next month. The tournament is scheduled to be played from June 1 to 29 in the Caribbean and the USA.