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KKR pacer Harshit gets Starc praise

May 27, 2024 13:12 IST

Seamer Harshit Rana has been the find of the season for KKR

IMAGE: Seamer Harshit Rana has been the find of the season for KKR. Photograph: BCCI

After resisting the lure of lucrative private leagues for almost a decade because of his commitment towards the Baggy Green, Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has hinted that he might quit one format to make room for more franchise cricket in his schedule.

While the 34-year-old didn't specify the format he intends to give up, it is likely to be ODIs considering that the next 50-over World Cup is in 2027.

Starc, who was bought for a record 24.75 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders, was magnificent in the business end of the tournament. He ended up with 17 wickets, including five in the two knock-out games, to engineer a dominant title triumph for the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team.

To a query from PTI as to how he would take it up from here after his best year in franchise cricket, Starc hinted that T20s could gain prominence in his roster.


"For the last nine years, I certainly prioritised Australian cricket. I have pulled out often to have a chance to give my body a break and spend some time away from cricket with my wife as well, so that's certainly been where my head has been for last nine years," Starc said after his match-winning 2/14 in the IPL final against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"Moving forward, I am certainly close to the end of my career than the start. One format may be dropped off as there is long time till next World Cup and whether that format drops off or not, that will open doors for a lot of franchise cricket," the 'King of Swing' said.

Starc hailed the young uncapped Indian seamer Harshit Rana for his outstanding show.

Harshit was the fourth-highest wicket-taker this season. The 22-year-old took 19 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 20.15, with the best figures of 3/24.

"We had a hugely talented bowling group this season with youngsters like Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, and Chetan Sakariya. Harshit had some good matches this season and has bowled in tough situations. He's only gonna improve from a season he had," Starc said in the post-match press conference.

Mitchell Starc finished with 17 wickets

IMAGE: Mitchell Starc finished with 17 wickets. Photograph: BCCI

The Australian cricketer further stated that throughout this IPL, the right-arm pacer has learned what his skills are capable of.

"Harshit is learning what his skills are capable of throughout this IPL. He seems pretty confident in his abilities. He started his season with the second-best team in this season (SRH). The right-arm seamer has bowled some tough overs and also crucial last overs and has taken a good amount of wickets this season as well," the left-arm pacer asserted

He mentioned that this year's IPL will help him in preparing for the T20 World Cup in West Indies starting June 1.

"...that's the other side of benefit of being here, some amazing players in an amazing tournament and great lead up to WT20 and success has been fantastic. It is great that a lot of players are in good position heading into the World Cup," he said.

Starc, like many others, agreed that the Impact Player rule led to tall scores in the IPL and the World T20 won't witness insane totals like 270. He said he foresees more help for spinners from worn-out tracks.

"T20 is not as physically demanding as Test cricket and it's been warm, humid, so that plays a part but that's fine. It would be cooler there in the West Indies than here," he said when asked how his body is holding up after two months of IPL.

"There's the Impact Player Rule here and that's not the case in the World Cup and after that you have to put a team that's more balanced and you rely more on all-rounders. You can't have your batting all-rounder coming in at No. 9, like they do in IPL.

"I don't think the runs would be that much, I don't think 270 can be scored... Wickets may play a part as we have seen high-scoring matches here and wickets won't be same in West Indies.

"They might turn and will be a bit more tired, and towards end of tournament, they might pose more of a threat staying low and hope bowlers come into play more than they have come through in IPL," he said.