Injured Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has said that India’s players were so afraid of losing the series to them after the surprising result in the Pune Test that they resorted to sledging them during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“They were scared of us beating them in India, the way they’ve been playing as well. So it (the confrontations) was almost a defensive mechanism for them and obviously they come out in the second Test match, performed really well and got back into it.
“It’s probably come a lot more from their side than ours. There's been a lot made of it before the series, there was so much hype before the series, and I think we've gone about the cricket as we have done for a long time now. As a young group, we're probably still finding our way. We're still learning about each other's games and how we're going as a team,” Starc told Fox Sports.
Starc picked up a stress fracture in his foot after the second Test in Bengaluru and had to return to Australia. He still hopes to be fit for June’s ICC Champions Trophy.
On being asked about his foot fracture, Starc said that it was not as serious as the one he suffered back in the 2015-16 season, where his foot had “snapped in half”.
He added that despite the injury he had been keeping himself fit by working out in the gym.
The 27-year-old tipped the visitors to clinch the final Test in Dharamsala which starts on Saturday. Starc’s absence was attributed to having hampered the performance of off-spinners in the third Test at Ranchi.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly was of the view that India's Ravichandran Ashwin and his Australian counterpart Nathan Lyon's didn't get much purchase from the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium track because of the lack of rough outside the off-stump, which is often created by the left-arm bowlers.
"Off-spinners did not get wickets here. This is because Mitchell Starc was not there, so the rough outside off-stump was not created," Ganguly told reporters after the third and penultimate Test between India and Australia ended in a draw.