"The ball of the tournament" - Aakash Chopra on Mitchell Starc's dismissal of Abhishek Sharma in KKR's IPL 2024 final win vs SRH

Mitchell Starc castled Abhishek Sharma with a virtually unplayable delivery. [P/C: iplt20.com]
Mitchell Starc castled Abhishek Sharma with a virtually unplayable delivery. [P/C: iplt20.com]

Aakash Chopra has lauded Mitchell Starc for delivering a match-defining spell in the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) IPL 2024 final win against the SunRisers Hyderabad. He termed the left-arm seamer's delivery to dismiss Abhishek Sharma the ball of the tournament.

Starc registered figures of 2/14 in three overs as KKR bowled SRH out for 113 after Pat Cummins opted to bat first in Chennai on Sunday, May 26. Shreyas Iyer and company achieved the target with eight wickets and 57 deliveries to spare to take the Kolkata-based franchise to their third IPL title.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra questioned SRH's decision to bat first and noted that they were virtually out of the game when Mitchell Starc and Vaibhav Arora dismissed Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head respectively in the first two overs.

"Hyderabad won the toss and batted first. I feel at times you get obsessed with your strength or weakness. In my opinion, chasing was a better option. It was probably in the first qualifier and now as well. However, you decided to bat first because the batting has otherwise been good this season," he said (2:00).
"However, when Mitchell Starc comes, the ball he bowled to Abhishek Sharma, the ball of the tournament, without a shadow of doubt. It pitched almost on middle and leg and went and hit the top of off, and Abhishek Sharma was dismissed at the start. Vaibhav Arora came from the other end and got Travis Head out for zero. It was over," the former India opener added.
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Chopra pointed out that SRH were overly dependent on their two openers as was proved in the final.

"Then this team did not have that much life. If we see from their angle, this has been the special thing in this tournament that if the openers fire, it works out. It's incredible if both fire, 150 is chased in 10 overs. If one fires, then also incredible but if both don't fire, the team crashes, and that's what happened," he observed.

Arora had Head caught behind for a golden duck after Starc bowled Abhishek for a five-ball two. None of the SRH batters played a substantial knock after that, with Pat Cummins top-scoring with a 19-ball 24.


"The discussion now will be that he is worth every single penny" - Aakash Chopra on Mitchell Starc proving his worth

Mitchell Starc picked up five wickets in two playoff games. [P/C: iplt20.com]
Mitchell Starc picked up five wickets in two playoff games. [P/C: iplt20.com]

Aakash Chopra praised Mitchell Starc for proving his worth at the business end of the tournament.

"Rahul Tripathi got out, that was the second wicket Starc took, and the catch was also taken by the best fielder of the tournament in my opinion, that was Ramandeep Singh. Ultimately, you will say that why there won't be a discussion when so much money was spent," he said (3:10).
"The discussions at the start were for the wrong reasons. The discussion now will be that he is worth every single penny. Money is just a number in the end when you have a lot of money to spend. So if you can get Mitchell Starc, and he turns it on on the big night. He was absolutely outstanding," the cricketer-turned-commentator added.

Chopra noted that wickets fell one after the other after Rahul Tripathi's dismissal. He added that the match was virtually done and dusted once SRH were bowled out for 113.

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