‘It’s going to be nice match-up’: Steve Smith on Virat Kohli vs Mitchell Starc contest in RCB-KKR game | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the highly anticipated clash between Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), former Australia skipper Steve Smith expressed excitement over the potential showdown between batting legend Virat Kohli and left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc.
Smith noted that both players are highly skilled performers, making their encounter a must-watch for cricket enthusiasts.The Kolkata-based franchise is gearing up to face RCB in their upcoming IPL 2024 match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday.Starc’s return to the IPL after a prolonged absence adds an extra layer of intrigue to the match. This season marks his comeback to the league since 2015 when he last represented RCB.
Interestingly, Kohli and Starc have never crossed paths in the cash-rich league, as Starc’s debut IPL season coincided with Kohli’s tenure with RCB back in 2014.
“I quite like [Starc’s] match-up to Virat, the ability to swing the ball back down the line as a lefty. We have seen him [Kohli] get out on a few occasions to Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult, Mohammad Amir. In the first game against Punjab Kings, Kohli had an opportunity off Sam Curran dropped at slip. So I quite like the left-handed match-up,” Smith said on ESPNcricinfo’s TimeOut.
ALSO READ: Watch IPL in Qatar
Smith highlighted Starc’s strategy, noting that the left-arm seamer aims to induce an outside edge with deliveries angled away, similar to Sam Curran’s tactics in the previous match, but with significantly more pace.
“Starcy’s going to swing the ball back down the line early on, I’d imagine, and then use the wobble seam to go across him [Kohli], and potentially try and nick him off. It’s going to be a good game, and I’m aware Virat would know how Starc’s trying to attack him as well – whether he tries to potentially come down the track [to] just take the swing out of play [we’ll see]. It’s going to be interesting to see how he counters it,” the 34-year-old added.
In T20I cricket while representing India, Kohli has encountered 28 deliveries from Starc. Across five encounters, Kohli managed to score 47 runs off Starc without being dismissed. Kohli’s average against left-arm seamers in T20s stands at 31.53, with 52 dismissals.
Concluding his remarks, Smith expressed confidence that Kohli is likely aware of his statistics against Starc and left-arm seamers in T20 cricket. He suggested that Kohli would undoubtedly be striving to enhance his performance in such matchups.
“You obviously learn as you go along, and you understand what players are trying to do to try and get you out. I’m sure he would have seen that [data], and tried to improve on that throughout. So it’s going to be a nice match-up,” the Sydney-born player concluded.
(With ANI inputs)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl