Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc got a rev-up from his skipper and a fine of NZ$8300 for the wild throw that threatened to create an international incident.
Starc was stung half his match fee by match referee Roshan Mahanama for throwing the ball at New Zealand batsman Mark Craig on Monday. He was found to have breached article 2.2.8 of the ICC code of conduct which relates to throwing the ball at or near another player “in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner”. Australia’s players receive a fee of A$15,450 per test.
As if it wasn’t hard enough trying to play out Australia’s fast bowlers and Nathan Lyon’s spin, Craig found himself on the endangered list when Starc let rip in the 84th over. Frustrated by the 10th wicket stand, which eventually reached 46 before Australia completed a 208-run victory in the first test in Brisbane, Starc collected a shot then fired back at the stumps which narrowly missed Craig. It was needless and potentially injurious at a late stage of the game.
Aussie skipper Steve Smith, who made a dream start to his captaincy reign in Michael Clarke’s absence, wasn’t impressed and told his fast bowler so.
“It was pretty disappointing. He’s done it a few times and I’m going to have a word with him when I get back down to the sheds. I don’t think it was necessary at the time and hopefully he can improve and get better from that,” Smith said.
“I don’t think he needs to apologise, he just needs to not do it again in the future. There wasn’t an opportunity for a run out and it was just a bit of frustration and he needs to let it out in other ways.”
But Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum played a straight bat. New Zealand took up Smith’s pre-match offer to visit the home dressing room for a beer, and McCullum wasn’t suggesting any ill feeling between the sides.
“The game was played in really good spirits and I’m sure the tests will be as well. I hope he [Starc] was trying to aim at the stumps and if that’s the case and it slipped out then we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.”
This was Australia’s first test since their Ashes defeat in England, after which Clarke retired and handed over the full-time reins to Smith.
The Australians dominated the test from ball one, winning their 20th at the Gabba amid an unbeaten Brisbane streak that stretches back to 1988.
But Smith demanded more from his bowlers in particular as they look to wrap up the series in Perth, where the bouncy Waca pitch should again prove a handful for New Zealand’s batsmen.
Starc took 6-126 for the match and fellow left-armer Johnson 4-163.
“The new ball bowlers need a bit of work. They were too short for this wicket. We didn’t make them play enough balls down the ground which would have brought in the catchers behind the wicket and bowleds and lbws. It is about getting it and swinging it a bit more and hitting our straps.”
The article was originally published on Stuff.NZ. See the original here.
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