In the third match, Australia set England a target of 359 which the hosts easily chased down with the help of Ben Stokes who scored 135*.
Mumbai: Mitchell Starc, who was a key member of Australia’s 2017 Ashes Test squad, should have been a part of the squad that played against England in Leeds, feels former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. The former Aussie cricketer stated that Starc could have made an impact in the third match which Australia lost by a whisker.
In the third match, Australia set England a target of 359 which the hosts easily chased down with the help of Ben Stokes who scored an unbeaten 135 to ensure that England levelled the five-match series 1-1. However, Australia would have retained the urn had Nathan Lyon not fumbled the return throw.
But, ultimately at the end, Nathan Lyon would be blaming himself for the blooper. Australia required one wicket to win while Jack Leach and Ben Stokes were trying to save England from another defeat. After Stokes played a reverse-sweep shot, Jack Leach ran straight towards the 28-year-old all-rounder.
After the England spinner ran half-way down the track, Ben Stokes asked him to return to the non-striker’s crease, but he Leach was a mile away from the crease when the return throw came, all Lyon had to do was pick the ball with his hands and hit the stumps.
However, when the throw came, Lyon fumbled and let the arch-rivals get away. In the next ball, Stokes was plumb leg before the wicket but Australia had no reviews left as they wasted all their reviews.
After the match, former Australian batsman Ricky Ponting in an interview with www.cricket.com.au has stated, "I must admit, as the game was sort of slipping away the other day the only image I had in my head was Starc bowling Stokes at The Oval in that World Cup with a yorker right at the base of off-stump.”
Ponting lastly added, “And even someone like (No.11) Jack Leach, I'm not sure he would have been that keen on facing Mitchell Starc at 150kph with the ball reversing back onto his toes either."The likes of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson failed to get rid of Leach who batted on with Stokes who went berserk and hit eight sixes in his innings along with 11 fours to take England over the line.”
Mitchell Starc has had been part of the 2015 and 2017 Ashes squad. Starc’s most notable performances in the 2015 Ashes tour were during the first and fourth match in which he scalped two fifers.
However, both the performances came in a losing as Australia lost the series 3-2. Meanwhile, in the 2017 Ashes, the Yorker master featured in many matches which turned out to be a match changing moment for the Kangaroos.
During the 2017 Ashes, Starc scalped 18 wickets in the whole series, helping the five-time ODI World Champions to completely root England 4-0. During that series only, Starc produced a stunning yorker to dismiss England’s James Vince, and following his brilliant delivery, Starc’s yorker was declared as the “ball of the summer”.
Mitchell Starc has an amazing ability to reverse swing deliveries which eventually go on to hit the stumps. One of his finest yorkers was during the 2015 World Cup final where he nails former Kiwi Skipper Brendon McCullum.
The other one was during 2017 Ashes. While, the other was during the 2019 World Cup league game, in which he bowled an absolute blinder to stun England’s Ben Stokes who was batting on 89.
Perhaps, Ricky Ponting was talking about this special power of Starc. Ponting stated that Starc’s special ability deliver yorkers at the most unexpected time makes Starc a deadly bowler. However, only time could have told whether Starc would have made an impact in that match.