India vs Australia: Mitchell Starc's absence caused off-spinners' pale show, says Sourav Ganguly

PTI, Mar, 21 2017

Kolkata: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels injured left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc's absence in the third cricket Test against Australia played a big role in the pale show of off-spinners from both the sides in the drawn game.

Mitchell Starc bowls during the first Test between India and Australia in Pune. AFP

Mitchell Starc bowls during the first Test between India and Australia in Pune. AFP

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.

Australia's prime pacer Starc was ruled out of the series after the second Test in Bengaluru due to a stress fracture in his right foot. In his two innings, Ashwin returned with figures of 2/185 bowling a combined 64 overs, while Australia' Lyon got just the wicket of a tired Cheteshwar Pujara in the first innings after the latter played a marathon knock of 202 off 525 deliveries.

Ganguly also praised the Australian middle-order duo of Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh for stitching a gritty match-saving fifth wicket partnership of 124 runs in the visitor's second innings.

"They (Marsh and Handscomb) played really well," Ganguly said.

Published Date: Mar 21, 2017 | Updated Date: Mar 21, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115