Starc took offence to South Africa’s Theunis de Bruyn in the opening session on day four after the Proteas batter repeatedly left the popping crease at the non-striker’s end prior to the release of the delivery.
At one point, Starc stopped his delivery in the final stride, turned around and pointed at de Bruyn’s bat, which was about two metres outside the non-striker’s crease.
“Stay in your crease, it’s not that hard,” the fiery quick said.
“The line is there for a reason, mate.”
Following Australia’s win by an innings 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 at the non-striker’s end.
“Yep,” Cummins said when Starc asked him for permission to mankad.
“You’re allowed to warn them a couple of times, but if they keep taking the mickey…”
“You saw how far down he was. That’s just absolute taking the mickey,” Starc added.
“That’s not just taking off before I’ve bowled; he was a metre down the wicket. I gave him a couple of warnings. If he wants to keep doing it, I’ll take them (the bails off).”
Starc revealed he’d confronted de Bruyn about his backing up overnight, only for the South African to continue to do it on day four, leading to the tense confrontation between the two.
“I had a word to him last night actually because he was doing it yesterday, and then he was half way down to Punt Road when I stopped,” Starc said.
“I said it again to him and he said, ‘I’m not doing it on purpose’. I’ve got to keep my foot behind the line, so you can at least keep your bat behind the line.
“There’s no need for it. 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 paceman continued to bowl against South Africa at the MCG despite two days earlier suffering tendon damage in the middle finger on his bowling hand.
Starc is set to miss the SCG Test but opted to bowl in the third innings in Melbourne to help his team roll the Proteas.
He has spoken out about batters trying to gain an unfair advantage previously.
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 run-outs to also see if batters are backing up too far.
He says umpires should call one-short (taking a run off the batting team) if the non-striker has gained an unfair advantage.
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