Starc feels experience helped him perform under 'price tag pressure' in IPL 2024

Sports |  IANS  | Published :

Chennai, May 27 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Mitchell Starc believes "being more experienced and older" helped him bounce back from the pressure of price tag after having rough start in the league stage fixtures.

Starc was the most expensive player in the history of the IPL, going for Rs. 24.75 crore at the auction, held in December 2023. However, the start for the Australian quick was up to the mark as he went for 100 runs in first two matches but was pivotal for KKR in the playoffs. He became the first player in the history of IPL to clinch back-to-back Player of the match award in playoffs -- both against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

"There have been plenty of jokes and what not made about the money," said Starc at the post-match press conference. "It's been a long time since I have played in the IPL. I am certainly an older and more experienced player now. It's probably helped with managing all the expectations or leading the attack or whatever it maybe. I am certainly glad I am a bit more experienced and older to deal with all of that.

"Personally, it has been a lot of fun, been great to learn and see how these guys go about it. Full credit to the whole squad of players and staff, it has made my life pretty easy," he added.

The final saw KKR dominate from the outset, starting with Starc's stunning dismissal of Abhishek Sharma with a ball that pitched on middle and leg and zipped past the outside edge to hit off stump. This wicket initiated a collapse; Vaibhav Arora removed Travis Head for a first-ball duck with an excellent away-swinger, and Starc struck again to dismiss Rahul Tripathi, leaving SRH at 21 for 3 inside five overs. In the playoffs Starc cliched five wickets for just 48 runs.

"It is a great night for KKR. What a game, what a series, what a season. It was an upward journey through from the start of the IPL to now, but we have a fantastic squad of bowlers and batters and our staff have been fantastic to get everyone peaking at the back end of the tournament. We have been such a consistent side. We haven't had one or two people standing out, it's been contributions from everyone. So, great to contribute personally but I think the fact that we've had everyone contribute throughout the year has been a big part of our success," he said.

KKR's bowlers, led by stellar spells from Andre Russell (3-19), Starc (2-14) & Harshit Rana (2-24), bowled out SRH for just 113, the lowest total in an IPL final. In reply, the batters, led by Venkatesh Iyer’s 52 not out off 26 balls, chased down the total in just 10.3 overs to make it the second time the side won an IPL title in Chennai.

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