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IPL 2024: KKR name Mitchell Starc’s replacement

IPL 2024: KKR name Mitchell Starc's replacement

Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) high-voltage signing Mitchell Starc has been sidelined for their match against Punjab Kings due to a finger injury sustained in the previous game. This comes as a blow to KKR’s bowling attack, already facing concerns over Starc’s underwhelming performance this season.

Starc, acquired for a record-breaking INR 24.75 crore, has failed to live up to expectations. In his limited appearances, he has managed only six wickets with a concerning economy rate of 11.48. The match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) proved particularly disappointing. Starc conceded a hefty 55 runs from his three overs, including a nightmare final over where Karn Sharma smashed three consecutive sixes. This wasn’t an isolated incident – Starc has conceded over 50 runs on three occasions this season, twice in a row.

His best outing was against Lucknow Super Giants, where he managed a respectable 3 wickets for 28 runs. The contrast with his previous IPL stint is stark. In 2015 with RCB, Starc was a force to be reckoned with, taking 20 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 6.76.

Prior to the season, Starc expressed enthusiasm about joining KKR and learning from his teammates. “There’s a lot of talent around with bat and ball and getting to know how these guys go about it and learn from them as well and try and answer any questions they’ve got,” he had said.

However, his on-field performance didn’t reflect that enthusiasm. Despite his struggles, Starc’s injury adds another layer of concern for KKR’s bowling unit. Dushmantha Chameera, previously with RCB in 2022, will replace Starc in the line-up for the Punjab Kings match. This marks Chameera’s first appearance for KKR this season, offering him a chance to stake his claim.

Starc’s injury and underwhelming form highlight the gamble KKR took with their record-breaking purchase. While his past success promised much, he has yet to deliver in purple and gold. With Starc out, KKR will need Chameera and the rest of their bowling attack to step up and fill the void left by the injured Australian pacer.

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