Australia threatened to mankade the South African batters in the third Test if they continued to fall back too soon following a stern warning from Mitchell Starc.
Starc took offense to South African Theunis de Bruyn in the opening day four session after the Proteas hitter repeatedly left the popping crease at the non-striking end before the delivery was released.
At one point, Starc stopped his delivery on the final stride, turned around, and aimed the bat at de Bruyn, who was about two yards outside the non-striker’s crease.
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“Stay in your crease, it’s not that hard,” said the fiery speedster.
“The line is there for a reason, mate.”
Following Australia’s victory by one inning and 182 runs, Starc and captain Pat Cummins suggested they were prepared to execute the controversial mankad move if opposing batters continued to take liberties on the non-attacking side.
“Yeah,” Cummins said when Starc asked him for mankad’s permission.
“You have the right to warn them several times, but if they continue to take the mickey…”
“You saw how low he was. It’s just taking the mickey,” Starc added.
“It’s not just taking off before I bowled; he was a yard from the wicket. I gave him a couple of warnings. If he wants to keep doing it I’ll take them off (the deposits will be waived) . “
Starc revealed he confronted de Bruyn about his overnight save, only for the South African to continue doing so on day four, leading to a tense confrontation between the two.
“I actually said a word to him last night because he was doing it yesterday, and then he was halfway down Punt Road when I pulled up,” Starc said.
“I told him again and he said, ‘I’m not doing it on purpose’. I have to keep my foot behind the line, so you can at least keep your bat behind the line.
“It’s not necessary. I keep saying I’m not going to take the stumps, but you could at least keep your bat behind the line.”
The left-arm pacemaker continued to feature against South Africa at the MCG, despite sustaining a tendon injury in the middle finger of his bowling hand two days earlier.
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Starc is expected to miss the SCG test but opted to play in Round 3 in Melbourne to help his side roll the Proteas.
He talked about hitters trying to get an unfair advantage before.
During a T20 game in Canberra, he warned England captain Jos Buttler to stay in his crease.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in October, Starc suggested the third umpire should use cameras positioned to judge outs to also see if batters back up too far.
He says umpires should call a short (taking a run on the batting team) if the non-attacker has gained an unfair advantage.
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