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Opinion

Has Mitchell Starc lost his mojo?

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Roar Rookie
24th January, 2021
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Mitchell Starc is a matchwinner, as he has proven that time and time again.

His execution of the in-swinging yorker is right up there with the greatest ever exponents of that skill.

But has Mitchell Starc has lost his mojo?

He is clearly down on confidence. At times on Day 5 of the decisive Brisbane Test, when Australia needed him most, he looked downcast and uninterested. But what caused this indifference?

I put it down to Tim Paine’s decision to humiliatingly relieve Starc of new-ball duties late on Day 5 at the Gabba. It was certainly an odd time for a changing of the guard.

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One wonders at what stage of the day was Starc informed that he was no longer Australia’s preferred new-ball bowler. Was it after the 46th over, when Starc was yanked from the attack after being carted by India for 20 runs? Or was it not until the new ball was taken that Starc suffered the ignominy delivered upon him by Paine?

As the overs ticked down towards the availability of the crucial second new ball, Paine made the curious decision to throw perennial matchwinner Starc the 71-over old ball and hooked him the moment the new nut became available.

Starc was not given another over for the rest of the match. Instead an already drained Pat Cummins bowled a seven-over spell from one end while Josh Hazlewood, then Nathan Lyon and Hazlewood again tried their level best from the other.

Would Starc have found a couple of devastating yorkers with that new ball and turned the match Australias way? We will never know, but we know what outcome the tweaked attack delivered.

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Has Mitchell Starc lost his mojo? Yes, but hopefully just for now. I expect he will get it back by next summer.

He will struggle against South Africa in the upcoming three-Test series, particularly if he is not reinstated as our new-ball bowler. But he will bounce back. Starc has always shown the courage and commitment required to emerge from difficult periods with devastating effect.

Watch out, England. Prepare for a Starc attack in 2021-22, much like Mitchell Johnson in 2013-14 after many had doubted him too.

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