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"I was the reason he wasn't at his best" - Tim Paine blames himself for Mitchell Starc's poor showing at the SCG

Mitchell Starc is distraught as Tim Paine drops Hanuma Vihari late on Day 5 at the SCG
Mitchell Starc is distraught as Tim Paine drops Hanuma Vihari late on Day 5 at the SCG
ANALYST
Modified 14 Jan 2021, 13:49 IST
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Australia skipper Tim Paine believes his own frustration on Day 5 of the third Test was responsible for pacer Mitchell Starc's underwhelming performance with the ball.

Mitchell Starc had a Test to forget in Sydney, as he bagged figures of 1-127 from 41 overs. He also went wicketless on the final day, when the hosts had ample amount of time to bowl out Team India.

With 10 overs remaining, the 30-year-old speedster gave one final push and was successful in inducing the edge of a resilient Hanuma Vihari. However, Tim Paine dived across and dropped what could have been a regulation catch for the first slip.

The 36-year-old dropped three catches in total on Day 5, including two of Rishabh Pant, who played a big role in helping the visitors draw the SCG Test. Quoted by cricket.com.au, Tim Paine accepted that it was his poor form that affected Mitchell Starc's bowling.

"My role with Starcy (Mitchell Starc) was to keep him nice and calm and keep him really clear of what I, and we, expect of him. He's the type of bowler that when you give him really simple and clear instructions and on an even keel, he normally bowls the house down," Tim Paine said

Tim Paine is determined to keep Mitchell Starc relaxed, so the latter can concentrate on his bowling and return to his fearsome best.

"With my mood on day five, potentially he was one that I affected and was the reason he wasn't at his best. So it's about me getting back to basics and keeping him nice and relaxed, keeping it really clear on what we want him to do. When we do that, he more often than not delivers," he further added.

"On his day he can rip a Test match apart" - Tim Paine on Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc
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Mitchell Starc has had a pretty modest Border-Gavaskar Trophy so far by his lofty standards, having picked up just nine wickets from three Tests. However, Tim Paine believes every single player has to go through rough patches.

"Some days he looks like what he is – one of the great bowlers in the world. And the next day, he has a bad day like the rest of us," Tim Paine asserted

The Aussie skipper is upbeat about Mitchell Starc returning to the Gabba, where the pacer has picked up 23 wickets from five Tests. As the fast bowlers will surely get more assistance from the Brisbane surface, the Australian skipper is hopeful of Starc being at his best in the fourth Test.

"Even his last spell in Sydney I thought was outstanding. We know how good he is, we know that on his day he can rip a Test match apart. But that’s not going to happen for him every day," he added.

While Australia have announced their playing XI for the fourth Test, the injury-ravaged visitors are still sweating on the fitness of their premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.

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Despite their injury woes, Team India have shown tremendous character to keep the series alive after suffering a humiliating defeat in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval.

Will India be able to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy or will the hosts maintain their dominant record in Brisbane? Only time will tell as the action begins from January 15.

Published 14 Jan 2021, 13:49 IST
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