Starc vs Head who has upper hand?

Mitchell Starc’s fiery opening spell provided a dream start for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2024 Qualifier 1 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Tuesday. The left-arm quick dismantled the SRH top order, starting with the crucial wicket of their in-form opener, Travis Head. Head, the leading run-scorer for SRH this season with a staggering 533 runs, has only managed a paltry single run in his five career outings against Starc, who has dismissed him a staggering four times for ducks.

Their head-to-head rivalry stretches back to 2015, where Head was on the receiving end of Starc’s bowling prowess thrice in a single year during domestic Australian tournaments, including the One-Day Cup and Sheffield Shield. This history added another chapter in Qualifier 1, with Starc once again proving to be Head’s nemesis.

Starc vs Head: All Dismissals

In the first over of the SRH innings, Starc displayed his mastery of pace and swing bowling. He delivered a length ball that was a touch full and angled away just enough to deceive Head.

The batsman, perhaps expecting the ball to come in, was caught off guard by the subtle movement. Misjudging the line and trajectory completely, Head shouldered arms and left his stumps exposed. The ball snuck through the gap, clattering into the timber and sending Head packing for yet another duck. This dismissal was a huge blow for SRH, considering Head’s red-hot form throughout the season.

He had been their batting mainstay, consistently providing them with strong starts at the top of the order. His absence put immense pressure on the rest of the SRH batting line-up, which ultimately crumbled against KKR’s potent bowling attack. Starc continued his impressive performance, finishing with figures of 3/34 as KKR thrashed SRH by eight wickets and secured a spot in the IPL 2024 final.

“I might keep that one in the back pocket” – Mitchell Starc on his rivalry with Travis Head

Mitchell Starc was delighted to have picked up the wicket of his Aussie teammate Travis Head before being adjudged Player of the Match in Qualifier 1. He said in the mid-match show:

“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. He’s been phenomenal through the tournament. But we knew he was going to be a big wicket.”

He continued:

“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.”

With a potential Qualifier 2 rematch on the horizon, depending on SRH’s next result, the battle between Starc and Head promises to be an exciting one to watch. Head, undoubtedly a talented batsman, will be looking to break this string of dismissals and silence his critics. The pressure will be immense, as he knows a good performance against Starc could single-handedly change the course of the match for SRH.

He will need to carefully analyze Starc’s bowling strategies and make adjustments to his own technique. Overcoming his mental block against Starc will be crucial, and if he can manage to do so, he has the potential to be a game-changer for his team.

This upcoming match presents Head with an opportunity to not only contribute to his team’s victory but also to prove his mettle against a world-class fast bowler.

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