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Watch: Rinku Singh Welcomes KKR’s Rs 24.75 Crore Buy Mitchell Starc With A Mammoth Six

Returning to “IPL circus” after almost a decade, Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc bowled with the new ball, and took some hits from Rinku Singh at the death during Kolkata Knight Riders’ second warm-up match at Eden Gardens on Tuesday. The Aussie, who last played in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 and 2015, was bought by KKR ahead of IPL 2018 but an injury had ruled him out of that season. The Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise broke the all-time auction record this year to buy him at a price tag of Rs 24.75-crore to bolster their pace attack that had lacked sting in the recent past. “It’s always a bit of a circus when it is the best T20 league in the world. It’s definitely a new challenge. Yeah, it’s going to be exciting. So, yeah I look forward to it,” Starc told cricket.com.au.

“I guess my memories are a few and far between of back in 2014 and 2015 with RCB but yeah, really excited to get stuck in. Obviously, a new group of players. A bunch of guys I certainly haven’t met or been able to work with before,” he said.

Representing Team Purple in their warm-up match against Team Gold, the 34-year-old appeared very positive.

Starc bowled full tilt with the new ball, giving Rahmanullah Gurbaz and 18-year-old Angkrish Raghuvanshi some anxious moments in his opening over.

He generated odd bounce from a sluggish Eden wicket, as the 2022 U-19 World Cup winner Angkrish was beaten a few times outside the off-stump.

Starc troubled Afghan batter Gurbaz with an awkward bounce before trapping him LBW in an eventful opening over that read 1-0-1-1.

While fielding at the deep fine leg, Starc was in action in the second over as he took a skier stretching to his right to dismiss Venkatesh Iyer off the bowling of Andre Russell.

Bowling the third over, Starc again beat Angkrish a couple of times before the youngsters charged him down the track and got a boundary with a pull over fine leg.

Angriksh followed that up with another boundary — a beautiful drive through gully.

Starc also ran hard while saving a couple of boundaries, before he was called to bowl at the death with Rinku and Manish Pandey at the crease.

Going all out, Rinku and Manish pierced the gaps as the Aussie found himself at the receiving end, leaking 20 runs in the final over to end up with figures of 4-0-40-1.

Rinku started off with a six over midwicket in the last over as Starc erred on his yorker and ended up bowling a full toss.

But overall, Starc put on a spirited show ahead of their tournament-opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Saturday.

The effort would surely have earned an approval from their two-time IPL winning captain and current team mentor, Gautam Gambhir, who watched the action from the dugout alongside head coach Chandrakant Pandit.

Meanwhile, former England captain Andrew Flintoff was seen watching the match from the sidelines, and exchanged pleasantries with the KKR team management.

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