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Home SPORTS Steve Smith Anticipates Thrilling Encounter Between Virat and Starc in RCB-KKR Match,...

Steve Smith Anticipates Thrilling Encounter Between Virat and Starc in RCB-KKR Match, Says ‘It’s Going to be Nice Match-Up’

In his predictions and analysis, former Australia captain Steve Smith highlights Starc's return to the IPL and the anticipated strategy struggle between the left-arm seamer and the renowned batsman.

IPL 2024 RCB vs KKR

IPL 2024 RCB vs KKR: Before the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), former Australia captain Steve Smith predicted that the match between left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc and legendary batsman Virat Kohli would be entertaining to watch because both players were accomplished athletes. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 encounter between the Kolkata-based team and RCB will take place at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday.

Mitchell Starc’s Return to IPL

After a lengthy absence, Starc has rejoined the IPL. He hasn’t played for RCB since 2015, therefore this is his first season back. As of Starc’s debut season (2014) with RCB alone, the two have never faced off in the lucrative league.

“I quite like [Starc’s] match-up to Virat, the ability to swing the ball back down the line as a lefty. We have seen him [Kohli] get out on a few occasions to Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult, Mohammad Amir. In the first game against Punjab Kings, Kohli had an opportunity off Sam Curran dropped at slip. So I quite like the left-handed match-up,” Smith said on ESPNcricinfo’s TimeOut.

Starc’s Bowling Strategy

According to Smith, Starc will attempt to gain an advantage while angling it away, but much more quickly than Sam Curran did in the last game. “Starcy’s going to swing the ball back down the line early on, I’d imagine, and then use the wobble seam to go across him [Kohli], and potentially try and nick him off. It’s going to be a good game, and I’m aware Virat would know how Starc’s trying to attack him as well – whether he tries to potentially come down the track [to] just take the swing out of play [we’ll see]. It’s going to be interesting to see how he counters it,” Smith added.

Kohli’s Past Performance Against Starc

While playing for India in T20I cricket, Kohli has faced 28 deliveries from Starc. Kohli hit 47 runs off of Starc in five encounters without going out of the game. In T20 cricket, Kohli averages 31.53 against left-arm seamers and has 52 wickets. Smith concluded by saying that he was certain that Kohli had data against left-arm seamers and Starc in the game’s shortest format and that he would do his best to improve it.

“You obviously learn as you go along, and you understand what players are trying to do to try and get you out. I’m sure he would have seen that [data], and tried to improve on that throughout. So it’s going to be a nice match-up,” he concluded.

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