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“Greatest mistake of the tournament”: Ian Healy questions costly Mitchell Starc decision in T20 World Cup

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Australian great Ian Healy has questioned the decision to omit Mitchell Starc from the T20 World Cup clash with Afghanistan, with the defending champions bundled out of the tournament.

Following an early loss to New Zealand and a washout against England, the Aussies needed to overcome a significant net run-rate deficit in their final match to qualify for the semi-finals.

But unfortunately for the 2021 T20WC winners, they could only manage a four-run victory and England’s triumph over Sri Lanka the following day would see Australia miss out on a spot in the final four.

Starc was dropped for the final game, replaced by Kane Richardson, and the decision from the selectors has raised plenty of eyebrows across the cricketing world.

Head coach Andrew McDonald revealed the decision was due to Richardson’s death bowling, despite the fact Australia desperately needed a convincing win. 

Speaking on SENQ Breakfast, Healy slammed the call and said the Aussie hierarchy know they’ve made a mistake.

“Don’t say that…you’ve just admitted to the greatest mistake of the tournament,” he said. 

“Death bowling, when you’re trying to knock Afghanistan over up front. How’d that decision get made? All of a sudden Starc is a death bowler again? He was a middle overs bowler.

“Remember they told us that last week. He’s not in the power play or up front so much any more, he’s in the middle. He’s an attacking defender.

“Now he got replaced for death bowling. It’s just gobbledygook, very average.

“You’re looking to knock over a talented but inexperienced Afghanistan top order and you drop Starc…and then Pat Cummins has had to change his role, they’ve all had to the change their role.”

Australia underwhelmed in this year’s World Cup on home soil, with many expecting them to defend their title after securing the trophy for the first time last year.

But the bowling left a lot to be desired, and Healy took aim at the tactics of the Aussies compared to other sides. 

“You’ve got the Indian and Pakistan bowlers all swinging it, seaming it and bowling good pace – we’re not doing anything,” he said. 

“What’s our bowling coach doing? Who is our bowling coach everyone? Do we know our bowling coach?”

England will take on India and Pakistan will face New Zealand in the T20WC semi-finals this week. 


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