Marcus Stoinis will be key to the Australian middle order and will also have the responsibility of picking key wickets with the ball. With a fantastic behind him where he scored 480 runs at a strike rate of 170 plus for the Lucknow Super Giants, Stoinis is a confident man and is looking ahead to yet another successful World Cup campaign with the Australian team. “I tend to agree with you that we have a very good side. If you take a look at each department of the game, you will see Australia has all the bases covered. We have power hitters at the top of the order who can set the tempo, we have some fantastic batters in the middle order and then we have a good lower middle order who can make tangible contributions. With the ball, we have fantastic fast bowlers and some very good spin options. So it is a well-rounded team and I certainly would like to believe we will have a very good World Cup campaign. Having said that I don’t think I agree with the tag of favourites. There are a number of teams which are very good and they have some very good players. So while we do have a very good side, these tags don’t really mean much to us as players, ” said Marcus Stoinis on Australia’s World Cup chances while speaking to Revsportz on Backstage With Boria show.
Australia have maintained a consistent core of players across formats, resulting in strong team chemistry and regular performances. Their recent victories in the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the World Test Championship (WTC) against India in 2023 highlight their versatility and success in different formats. They have set their sights on the 50-over World Cup scheduled for October-November 2023 in India.
On his own preparation for the World Cup, the Australian all-rounder said, “I consider these tournaments as huge opportunities to do something for the team. I am in that stage of my career now where I know each tournament is an opportunity. To try and make a serious difference. Whatever is asked of me, bat, bowl or field, my hand is up. Wherever my team wants me to play, I am ready. Finishing, as we have discussed in the past, is an art. I have spoken a lot about it to Ricky Ponting and learnt a lot from MS Dhoni. You visualize situations where you are there in the middle for your team in a critical situation and you are vested with the responsibility of winning the game. These are occasions you live for as a player and I am no different.”
Saying that the IPL experience will help Australian players a great deal, Stoinis stated, “I am now going into my 9th season of the IPL next year. A lot of the other players like Dave Warner, Maxi, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and now Cameron Green all play the IPL and it makes a massive difference. We have a very clear idea of the conditions and what are the kind of pitches that we might encounter during the World Cup. We also know the angles in each ground, the dimensions of boundaries, where to play our shots etc. These things make a huge difference in a high-pressure tournament like the World Cup.”
Stoinis singled out Virat Kohli for praise and said, “I think it is his ability to pump himself up for the big stage. If you look closely you will see that in Virat’s case, the intensity that he brings to the big stage is always more than a normal game. If to do so he has to pick a fight or needle, someone, he will do it. It is his way to get into the big game groove. Once he is there it is very difficult to stop him. Each one of us wants to get to this big game zone every time we play a tournament like the World Cup. That’s when you can perform at your best. But not always is it possible. In Virat’s case, he can do it more often than not and that’s a very special quality.”
He also argued that playing India early in the World Cup is actually a good thing. “I like the fact that you said two of the best teams. I do believe India and Australia are two of the best teams in the World Cup and both have the potential to go all the way. Playing a very intense high-pressure game at the start of the World Cup can actually set the tournament up for you. When you play India you know there is no chance of making mistakes. They will not let you make a comeback if you give them an opportunity. So it sets you up early on in the tournament and it is something that can work for a team like us.”
Finally, on Pat Cummins as captain, he said, “He is a real leader in the dressing room and each one of us has great respect for Pat as player and captain. His conduct has made sure that he has earned the respect that he now gets. Needless to say, he is a very good bowler. But more importantly, he is a really good colleague and someone who gets the best out of you as captain. That’s what is more special for me.”
Topics mentioned in this article