Mitchell Starc is one of the fiery bowler in the world cricket across all formats of the game. The lanky pacer makes the best use of his height to generate different variations, including his nasty bouncers and toe-crushing yorkers. The left-arm quick has been an integral member of Australia’s two World Cup wins (2015 & 2023), 2021 T20 World Cup and 2021-23 World Test Championship.
Although Starc has been quite clear about his commitment to international cricket, especially with the longer formats, the Aussie pace spearhead has entered the IPL auction after five years, though he last played in the tournament in 2015 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Mitchell Starc has played 27 IPL matches and accounted for 34 dismissals at an economy rate of 7.17. He was the second most leading wicket-taker for RCB (20 wickets) in IPL 2015 after Yuzvendra Chahal (23). The Australian pacer will be on cards of numerous franchises and is likely to force some of the teams to break the bank for his services.
Let’s take a quick look at three potential teams that will target for Mitchell Starc in the upcoming IPL 2024 auction, scheduled on December 19.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders retained the least number of players ahead of the mini-auction. The franchise showed faith in young Indian quicks Vaibhav Arora and Harshit Rana along with veteran all-rounder Andre Russell. However, the two-time IPL winners released the New Zealand duo of Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson.
The franchise is in the process of redeeming their squad and their foremost priority should be to bring a solid pace department to the fore along with an impeccable leader for the same. And no one other than Mitchell Starc should lead their bowling attack.
Starc was picked by KKR in the 2018 IPL auction for a whopping sum of INR 9.40 crore, albeit the World Cup winner was ruled out ahead of the season after sustaining a stress fracture in his right leg.
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2. Gujarat Titans
Gujarat Titans have reached the IPL finals for successive years since the team entered the lucrative tournament. The Titans made the headlines during the retention window with the trade of their skipper Hardik Pandya to Mumbai Indians.
Apart from Pandya’s deal, the CVC Capitals-owned franchise released one of their key fast bowlers in West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph. It will be difficult for any overseas bowlers to fill the shoes of Joseph unless he is Mitchell Starc.
Starc’s arrival to the Gujarat outfit will make them one of the two lethal pace attacks in the tournament with the availability of Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Joshua Little and Darshan Nalkande at their disposal.
1. Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians already have a pace behemoth in their squad in the name of Jasprit Bumrah and they certainly would want to add another, especially after releasing Jofra Archer and trading Cameron Green to RCB in order to sign the Hardik Pandya deal with Gujarat Titans.
The five-time IPL winners could never live up to the dreams of seeing Bumrah and Archer bowl in tandem with the new ball. Bumrah was available in IPL 2022 but Archer was recovering from his long-term injury and it was the complete opposite in the following season with the Indian pacer missing out owing to a prolonged rehabilitation.
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Mumbai Indians can recreate that dream with Starc and Bumrah firing from the front and running through the opposition batting line-ups. This could be a fascinating combination to watch not just for the MI supporters but for the pundits as well.