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Australia’s red-ball skipper Pat Cummins heaped praise on his fellow pace spearhead Mitchell Starc after the latter joined the 300-wicket club in Test cricket during the first Test against South Africa at The Gabba in Brisbane. Starc was instrumental in helping his team bundle out the Proteas for just 152 in the first innings as he bagged a three-fer.
After electing to field first, skipper Cummins wanted his fast bowlers to wreak havoc from ball one and that’s what the left-arm seamer from New South Wales did. He drew first blood by dismissing Dean Elgar at an individual score of three and the visitors could never get back into the contest from there on.
Starc then dismissed Temba Bavuma (38) who was trying to propel South Africa to a respectable first innings total alongside Kyle Verreynne. His third scalp in the first innings turned out to be Keshav Maharaj. When South Africa’s second innings got underway, Starc needed just one wicket to enter the 300-wicket club in the format and he joined the same as he knocked over Rassie van der Dussen in the third over.
The tall left-arm seamer delivered a full ball that jagged back off the seam sharply after pitching around the off-stump. Rassie missed the line completely and Starc joined and the elite club.
He keeps going to a different level: Pat Cummins
Cummins extolled fellow pacer after the game and said, “Keeps (Starc) impressing. The longevity to take 300 and play ten years is great, he keeps going to a different level. Around the wicket, nipping the ball away is a new skill. He is a huge member of our team, continues to get better.”
Starc is the latest Aussie entrant in the 300 club. Six Australians are already a part of the club including Shane Warne (708), Glenn McGrath (563), Nathan Lyon (454), Dennis Lillee (355), Mitchell Johnson (313) and Brett Lee (310). Starc went on to pick one more wicket in the game as he dismissed Maharaj again.
The second Test (Boxing Day Test) of the three-match series will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from December 26-30.
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