Australia VS England: Mitchell Starc's bowling showed the mistake Australia made in T20 World Cup
When Mitchell Starc was dropped from Australia's playing XI for their final Super 12s T20 World Cup game against Afghanistan, more than a few eyebrows were raised
The decision was explained as a tactical one, but it did not do much to stem the flow of criticism that came with the decision.
It was especially true since Australia needed to win by a significant margin, and having a wicket-taker like Mitchell Starc helps do that.
And the decision to drop Mitchell Starc, as expected, did not go down too well with the man himself, who revealed that he spoke to selector George Bailey on the matter but refused to further elaborate on what he called "strong opinions on the matter."
"George and I have spoken and that is where it will stay, I had strong opinions on it and had a conversation, and that's where it is," Mitchell Starc said after the second ODI against England.
"I spoke to George at length, it was a good conversation. Many different things were floated there. I still have ambitions to play T20 cricket for Australia but it is a long time to the next one and a lot of water to go under the bridge. So we will face that when we get to that."
It was, in fact, that second ODI against England that showed just how wrong the call to drop Mitchell Starc was. The left-arm pacer was at his lethal best with the new ball, getting it to swing at a massive pace and troubling the best of England's batters.
He got Jason Roy with a trademark yorker and got rid of Dawid Malan, leaving the England batting hamstrung before the match began.
And it is this very reason why the selectors should have stuck with him in that final game against Afghanistan.
Now granted, there's a school of thought that Mitchell Starc's recent T20I numbers had been poor – and there's a valid point to be made in that regard.
In addition, some believe that dropping him ignited his ego and motivated him to perform so well against England.
However, when it comes to proven match winners, the simple logic is that you're better off sticking with them even through lean patches of form.
Just look at England and Ben Stokes; they stuck with him despite his T20I numbers being anything but flattering in recent times and were rewarded with two match-winning knocks, one in the group stages final game against Sri Lanka and then in the final against Pakistan.
Granted, neither was of the powerhouse variety, but they didn't need to be; the important thing for Ben Stokes and England was that he got them over the line in crunch games.
And given Mitchell Starc found his form anyway, it would have made sense to keep him on the side for a must-win game.
Because match winners are a rare breed, they might be out of form sometimes, but when they get back into shape, it's always in a match-winning cause.