Top pacer Mitchell Starc’s patchy form is among the few worries for a rampaging Australia in the ongoing series against India but skipper Aaron Finch on Tuesday threw his weight behind the seasoned campaigner, saying there is no need to panic just yet.
The left-arm seamer, who has an outstanding record with the new ball in white-ball cricket, has been far from his best in the ongoing series against India. In the two ODIs, Starc has managed to claim just one wicket while giving away 147 runs in 18 overs. Australia won both the games.
“He hasn’t been at his very best, and you have to understand his standards are a lot higher than what you expect from most other people because of how dominant he’s been over the last eight or nine years, especially in the white-ball formats,” Finch said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the third ODI.
“He’d love to be swinging the ball and getting it right early on, but the reality is when you’re defending big totals and playing against good players, they’re coming hard at you,” he added.
With star pacer Pat Cummins rested for the final ODI, Finch said there will be discussions on how to use Starc.
“So, there’ll be conversations today about what we can do slightly different. Whether it’s a tactical thing or when we’re using him through the innings.
“We’ll chat about that today. But, definitely no panic stations here from my point of view,” Finch said.
Since the World Cup last year, Starc has endured a dip in form. The Australian quick has picked just 12 wickets while bleeding runs at an economy of 6.28 in 11 matches.
“From my point of view, and chatting to other guys about his technique and little things that his fellow bowlers and the fast-bowling cartel really monitor, they seemed to think that he’s going really well,” Finch said.
“So it’s just a matter of time. There’s nowhere to hide in one-day cricket when you’re playing on some really flat wickets with quality opposition,” he added.
With star batsman David Warner ruled out of the final ODI and the series already in the bag, Finch hinted that the home side could experiment at the top.
“We haven’t picked a team yet, but we’ve got a few options. Whether we go Wadey (Matthew Wade) in the side or Marnus comes up and opens the batting, Alex Carey has done a lot of it in the past.
“But the middle-order has been functioning really well over the last little while.
“That’s the beauty of being two-nil up in the series, you can look to experiment if you want to do that or you can look to play the safe option,” Finch said.
Warner, who picked up a groin injury during the second ODI on Sunday, is out of the remainder of the limited-overs series while his participation in the four Tests is also doubtful.
“He’s an all-time great in one-day and T20 cricket, I don’t think there’s many better players to have played the game.
“So any team he’s not a part of is going to be slightly weaker but we’ve got guys that can step and really contribute heavily in that role,” Finch said.