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Updated December 24th, 2023 at 17:36 IST

'Surprised at the lower pace': Mitchell Starc opines on the dwindling speed of PAK bowlers

Reflecting on the comprehensive victory over Pakistan in the 1st Test of the 3-match series, Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc opines on PAK bowlers' dwindling speed.

Prateek Arya
Mitchell Starc and Shaheen Afridi
Mitchell Starc and Shaheen Afridi | Image:AP/Pakistancricket
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The absence of express pace by Pakistan's seamers in the first Test against Australia drew a lot of attention from the members of the cricket world, and of course, the Australian team noticed it as well. Paying heed to this, Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc, stated "everyone" in the team was startled by Pakistan's failure to attain greater speeds with the ball, especially given the team's reputation for it.

3 things you need to know

  • Australia beat Pakistan by 360 runs in the 1st Test of the 3-match series
  • Australia lead the series 1-0
  • 2nd Test will begin from December 26, 2023

Also Read | Sunil Gavaskar includes two star spinners in his predicted XI for Boxing Day Test against SA

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Mitchell Starc opines on Pak bowlers' lack of pace 

Known for introducing young express fast bowlers to the scene, the Pakistan team has witnessed a rare dwindle in the pace attack, and the cricket world is on a mission to figure out how the team has plummeted to the state. Mitchell Starc, who is a part of the Australia side that is playing Pakistan in the series, divulged that the Aussie team was surprised to face the unusual, i.e., low pace from Pak bowlers.

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"I think everyone was slightly surprised at the lower pace of the Pakistan bowlers, when you're generally used to some guys getting in the 150s [kph]," Starc said, speaking to media at the MCG two days before the start of the second Test. "I don't think that pace is the be all and end all but it certainly plays a part and can help."

Also Read | Capturing moments: Alyssa Healy turns photographer to mark India's historic test win over Australia

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Shaheen Afridi struggles to produce high speeds

Due to Naseem Shah's injury and Haris Rauf's decision to withdraw from the Test series against Australia, Pakistan had a restricted number of high-pace options to pick from. Much of the load rested on Shaheen Shah Afridi, but he has also slowed down since recovering from a knee ailment.

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He averaged in the low 130s during the first Test in Perth, decreasing to the upper 120s in the second innings. Pakistan's other three-seam bowling options are also not as quick as the standards have been set. Khurram Shahzad bowled at medium-fast speeds throughout the game, and while Aamer Jamal improved as the game progressed, he rarely reached 140 kph. It was in stark contrast to Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc, who all regularly hit the mid-140s. That difference was evident on a fiery wicket that became much more friendly towards pacers as the game progressed.

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Published December 24th, 2023 at 17:36 IST

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