Why mitchell starc is so dangerous in knockout matches

Mitchell Starc’s season leading up to the playoffs had been a rollercoaster. He went from unplayable spells to frustrating outings, raising questions about his ability to justify his hefty price tag. The pressure of being the most expensive player in IPL history seemed to be weighing him down, and critics were circling. But Starc, a true champion, thrives under the spotlight. When the biggest match of the season arrived, he turned up the heat. In Qualifier 1 against the Sunrisers, with a passionate crowd of 75,000 in Ahmedabad roaring him on, Starc unleashed a white-hot spell that dismantled their batting order. His pinpoint yorkers, unplayable pace, and swing bowling were a masterclass in fast bowling, silencing his doubters and reminding everyone why he’s considered one of the greats of the game.

A rare feat in the powerplay

Starc returned with three wickets in the powerplay, breaking the backbone of the SRH top-order, leaving them in a shock from which they could not fully recover. He was fired up for the occasion and struck with his second delivery – the ball angling in and then shaping away to rattle the stumps of the most destructive batter of the tournament. It was a massive moment in the match. No batter had scored more runs in the powerplay in IPL 2024 than Travis Head and he had done so at the rate of knots. He had annihilated opposition attacks into submission in the first six overs. Head’s big-match temperament was also not lost on anyone – he had hammered match-winning hundreds for Australia in two ICC Finals last year. Starc had got the prized scalp for a duck.

Starc Channels His World Cup Heroics

Mitchell Starc’s spell mirrored his unforgettable performance in the 2015 World Cup final at the MCG. Just like he dismissed Brendon McCullum, a destructive force with over 300 runs in that high-pressure match, Starc removed Travis Head – IPL 2024’s leading run-scorer – with a searing inswinger in Qualifier 1.

Fired up, Starc nearly had Rahul Tripathi trapped lbw with a scorching yorker next ball. The momentum was undeniable. Nitish Reddy became his second victim, miscuing a pull shot off a short ball for a simple catch to the keeper. The red-hot Starc completed a sensational hat-trick by dismissing Shahbaz Ahmed with the very next delivery, dismantling the tournament’s most aggressive powerplay team.

SRH were in tatters at 39/4 after 5 overs, their worst powerplay showing all season. Starc’s opening spell had ripped through their top order, putting KKR firmly on track for their fourth IPL final. This dominant performance echoed his heroics in the World Cup final against India, showcasing his ability to rise to the occasion in Ahmedabad once again.

Starc Makes History

With this performance, Starc etched his name in IPL history. He joined an elite group of only three bowlers to take three or more wickets in a playoff/knockout match powerplay. He now sits second in the powerplay wicket-takers list for the season, behind only Jasprit Bumrah.

Starc’s big-match temperament

While Mitchell Starc’s regular season performance was underwhelming – just 12 wickets in 11 matches and the highest economy rate in his KKR team – he proved why they invested a whopping INR 24.75 crores in him at the auction. Great players rise to the occasion, and Starc is the epitome of that in big tournaments.

Starc’s ability to thrive under pressure is legendary. He was the joint highest wicket-taker in Australia’s victorious 2015 World Cup campaign and the top wicket-taker in their 2019 run in England. He consistently delivers in high-stakes matches, taking crucial wickets in the semi-finals and finals of both tournaments. The trend continued in the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final against Pakistan and the 2023 World Cup finals, where he bagged three wickets each time. 

Standing on the cusp of another major white-ball final, Starc has already been part of three World Cup victories. With his big-match temperament and undeniable talent, all eyes are on him to potentially add the IPL trophy to his collection.

This version shortens the text while maintaining the key points: Starc’s underwhelming regular season, his reputation as a big-match player, his past clutch performances in World Cups, his white-ball prowess, and the anticipation for his impact in the upcoming IPL final.


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