IPL 2024: Steve Smith excited for Virat Kohli and Mitchell Starc face-off

Virat Kohli

Australian cricketer Steve Smith expressed his excitement about the face-off between Virat Kohli and Mitchell Starc as Bengaluru will host Kolkata in IPL 2024. Smith pointed out the instances of left-arm seamers getting the better of Virat and how Starc would try to attack the star batter early on. He was looking forward to how Kohli would counter the left-arm seamer in the innings. Bangalore will play their 3rd match of the season as they face Kolkata at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on March 29, Friday.

Starc and Kohli will be facing each other for the first time in the IPL as the Australian pacer represented Bengaluru the last time he played in the league, i.e. 2014 and 2015. However, Kohli scored 47 runs from 28 deliveries against Starc, without being dismissed by him in T20 cricket. In their last outing in IPL 2024, Kohli scored match-winning 77 runs against Punjab Kings. Meanwhile, Starc had a forgettable outing as he leaked 54 runs against Hyderabad, without taking any wickets. Following his dismal debut, Starc will look to bounce back in his 2nd match for Kolkata. IPL 2024 Full Coverage | IPL 2024 Points Table and Standings | 2024 IPL Full Schedule


Smith mentioned that Starc might try and get Kohli’s outside edge while angling it. Similar to how Curran tried to get Kohli in the last match and was dropped by Jonny Bairstow. In the overall T20s, Kohli averages 31.53 against left-arm pacers with 52 dismissals.

“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 told ESPNcricinfo.

“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,” Smith said. “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.”

“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 (Kohli) would have seen that (data), and tried to improve on that throughout. So it’s going to be a nice match-up,” Smith added.

Bengaluru haven’t won a home match against Kolkata since 2016 and will look to change their poor record this time.

Published By:

Diya Kakkar

Published On:

Mar 29, 2024

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