Not just a rough patch, a rocky one in that when there finally appear to be the thirties from his bat, which barely convey the wonder that is Steve Smith with a bat in hand, he hardly looks to be in any flow that he’d himself quite like.
For now, he’s not a member of Fab Four; but rather Drag Four; as if his name was dragged into an elite quartet of four of the world’s best batsmen where Steve Smith isn’t even a fit.
How can he be when this is what the otherwise proficient and charming batsman has managed thus far-
He picked 27 wickets in the year of the last edition of the ODI World Cup, which is 2019, and before that, 41.
Yes; 41 wickets on the whole in 2015, to be precise. It was to be the year where the Aussies played several World Cup games at home.
So for someone who took 68 one day wickets collectively from 28 games in such time, which meant well over 2 wickets per game, the Starc of 2023 has been more or less a toothless shark.
Agile- yes. Quick- yes. But one who fares very less on the effectiveness meter.
Mitchell Starc, the pacer known for angling it into the batters to make their lives miserable, the popular left armer’s 2023 World Cup campaign lacks the bite.
Enough said. Not really.
One of the greatest fast bowlers ever from Australia has picked 10 wickets from eight games.
As he enters the mega semi final clash versus the Proteas, but not before announcing that he will likely not feature in the next World Cup edition bound for 2027, the bowling great would, at least, like to better his 2/43 (v Sri Lanka), the best he has been able to gather in the 2023 CWC campaign.
Unlike before, where he played a pivotal role in Australia’s success, Starc has encountered some difficulties in consistently making a significant mark in the current tournament; the left armer isn’t the same in getting those crucial breakthroughs.
Despite the contrast in impact, Starc remains a key figure in Australia’s bowling line-up and fans are hopeful that he can regain his previous form as the tournament unfolds.
We do know that an in-form Starc adds a different gravy to this Aussies outfit and it’s precisely the thing the Proteas wouldn’t like to taste.
In the ongoing World Cup, Pat Cummins is having trouble making the kind of impact in the bowling department that he is known for.
It appears that opposing batsmen have discovered ways to undermine his tactics, which makes things difficult for him.
Cummins’ figures in this World Cup aren’t too fascinating either with just 10 wickets up to his name so far.
Australian fans demand much more than this from their skipper in the biggest tournament.
Cummins with the height and his ability to jag the ball both ways hasn’t been able to trouble the batters and that has left most of the die-hard fans worried as they were looking at the all-rounder as their best seam bowling option in conditions like these.
Though, the tournament is still not over and Cummins can still bring back the smile & joy on his countrymen faces.
Here, comes another skipper and this time it’s Temba Bavuma from South Africa. Similarly, like Pat Cummins, Temba Bavuma had a very quiet tournament so far.
Coming into the 2023 ODI World Cup, Temba Bavuma was one of the most consistent run-getters for South Africa this year in ODI cricket but he has still not set the stage on fire in this edition of the World Cup and knockouts are the best time to do it for the skipper.
Temba can take inspiration from history when Ricky Ponting and MS Dhoni being the skippers of their nations set the World Cup blazing in the knockout events.
Temba has only managed to get 145 runs in 7 games so far and now is the perfect time for Bavuma to end this drought and get this nation past Australia in the semi-finals.
Kagiso Rabada has been a reliable force in South Africa’s bowling line-up during the current World Cup, taking 12 wickets in 8 games. Rabada’s wicket total is respectable, but he hasn’t yet reached his maximum potential.
Rabada may have decent numbers right now, but it seems like this World Cup is still waiting for him to reach his peak.
The South African pacers are making a mark in this World Cup with the likes of Jensen and Coetzee and being the strike force in this bowling outfit, the cricket pundits are expecting more from Rabada when South Africa faces their biggest achilles heel, which is the knockouts of an ICC events.
– with contributions from Dev Tyagi