SA vs AUS 2018: Will need to devise new strategies to curb AB de Villiers, says Starc

South Africa won the Port Elizabeth Test to level the series.

AB de Villiers scored  an unbeaten ton in the first innings at Port Elizabeth. (HT Media)

Having lost the second Test in Port Elizabeth due to AB de Villiers' brilliance with the bat, Australian spearhead Mitchell Starc has said that they need to think out of the box to dismiss De Villiers in the next Test match. 

AB de Villiers scored a match-winning unbeaten 126 which propelled South Africa to a competitive first innings score of 382.  Kagiso Rabada then came up with a match-winning spell as he picked up 6 wickets to torment the Australian batting order. Rabada finished with 11 in the match before being banned from the next two Tests due to an unfortunate incident with Australian skipper Steve Smith. 

It was Australia's first Test defeat when armed with the pace attack of Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins after five consecutive victories. Speaking more on de Villiers, Starc said "I can't say I was too happy with that either," Starc told reporters on Friday (March 16) about the defensive tactic. "Look, if the captain tells me to do something I'm going to do it, aren't I?"

Speaking about Australia's plans to dismiss the maverick South African batsman in the next Test, Starc said  "We've had some lengthy discussions about some plans to him, things we might have to change, but he's only human, and going forward there's no doubt we can get him out," he said. "He seems to be able to play a couple of different shots to the same length ball, so your margin for error is a lot less to someone like him. So you've got to think outside the box a lot more with him."

"It's something we've spoken about as a bowling group and as a team, and hopefully that starts in Cape Town and we can get him out fairly cheaply," he added. 

With Rabada missing from the next two Test matches, Starc feels that South Africa might prepare different wickets. Keeping his views on the same Starc concluded saying  "If Rabada's not playing, there might be a little more sideways movement with the newer ball for someone like Philander or Morne (Morkel), which obviously brings Josh or Pat into the mix as well," he said. "We're just going to have to adapt to the conditions that are put in front of us. But they (pitches) could change away from that - the reverse swing - without Rabada there."


By Anshuman Roy - 16 Mar, 2018

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