Veteran Indian keeper-batter Dinesh Karthik lavished praise on Australia's left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc for his outstanding bowling performance in the second ODI in Vishakhapatnam on Sunday (March 19). The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer also empathised with batters facing someone like Starc.
Starc, who picked up three wickets in the first ODI in Mumbai, was once again on song with the new ball in the second game in Vishakhapatnam. The 33-year-old dismissed four top-order batters to break the back of India's batting and claimed his fifer by removing No. 11 Mohammed Siraj to bowl India out for a paltry 117.
Speaking on Cricbuzz, Karthik said that any batter in the world will struggle to contain a quality left-arm seamer like the 33-year-old Starc, who's the best white-ball bowler today. The 37-year-old also lamented the lack of a quality left-arm seamer in the Indian line-up.
"He is arguably the best white-ball bowler in the world right now. To come and receive such balls first up, it's hard. You put anybody there, more often than not, they will get out first ball. We need to cut some slack for batters who get out to quality left-armers.
"The skill that goes behind a Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc is different boss. If the bowler had the skill, he would be playing for India! Why would he be bowling in the nets? It is not an easy skill. Add to that, you’re playing international cricket, and it's a different ball game."
The fifer was the ninth time Starc did so in one-dayers, putting him behind Waqar Younis and Muttiah Muralitharan. It was also his second five-wicket haul in the format against India.
Mitchell Marsh tees off after Mitchell Starc's heroics
Following Starc's demolition of the Indian batting unit, Mitchell Marsh made quick work of the meagre target set by the hosts.
The West Australian hammered six fours and as many sixes in his 36-ball 66, sharing an unbroken 121-run stand with Travis Head as the Aussies romped home with almost 40 overs to spare.
Head, who perished cheaply in the first ODI in Mumbai, stayed unbeaten on 51 with ten boundaries.
Australia levelled the series going into the third game after suffering a five-wicket loss in the opener. The two sides will lock horns in the third and final ODI in Chennai on Wednesday (March 22).
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