Mitchell Starc threatened South Africa’s number three, Theunis de Bruyn, with a ‘Mankad’ dismissal on Thursday after the batsman wandered way outside his crease at the non-striker’s end during the second test in Melbourne.
The run-out dismissal, named after former India all-rounder Vinoo Mankad, is legal but has long generated debate as to whether it is in the spirit of the game.
On day four at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, as Australia wrapped up a thumping innings and 182-run victory, paceman Starc aborted a ball during his run-up after seeing De Bruyn leave his crease early.
“Just stay in your crease, it’s not that hard,” Starc barked at him.
“The line’s there for a reason, mate.”
During the post-match media conference, Starc said he would consider dismissing players with the Mankad in future if he saw them taking off early like De Bruyn, earning a firm endorsement from his captain Pat Cummins.
“What do you reckon, skipper?” Starc asked Cummins, sitting alongside him.
“Yep,” said Cummins.
“There you go,” Starc laughed.
“You saw how far down he was. That’s just absolutely taking the mickey. That’s not just taking off before I bowl it. He was a metre down the wicket.”
Starc said De Bruyn had been leaving his crease early on day three in Melbourne as well.
“I gave him a couple of warnings. If he wants to keep doing it, I’ll take him,” he said.
Australia’s win at the MCG sealed the series 2-0, making the third test in Sydney a dead rubber.
Starc will not have the opportunity to Mankad De Bruyn in the next test, having been ruled out of the match due to an injured tendon on the middle finger of his bowling hand.
Debate over the Mankad raged in September when India bowler Deepti Sharma ran out England’s Charlie Dean at the non-striker’s end for the final wicket in a women’s one-dayer at Lord’s, prompting jeers from the crowd.
The Marylebone Cricket Club, the custodians of cricket’s laws, later backed the bowler and said the onus was on batters not to leave the crease too soon.