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ICC World Cup 2019 | 'Biggest Threat' Marcus Stoinis Keen to Take IPL Form to World Cup

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 24, 2019, 11:30 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | 'Biggest Threat' Marcus Stoinis Keen to Take IPL Form to World Cup

Marcus Stonis reacts after getting the big wicket of Virat Kohli. (Source: Twitter/ICC)

Prior to Australia's limited-overs tour to India, Virat Kohli was asked who he thought the biggest threat in the opposition camp was and he nonchalantly remarked, "If I had to single out one player that can make more impact, that would be Marcus Stoinis."

But when Kohli calls someone the "biggest threat" it is bound to catch on and Stoinis learnt it the hard way after being nicknamed 'BT' in the Australian dressing room.

"Yeah, I think the likes of Nathan Lyon and Patty (Cummins) didn't like that I was the biggest threat. I think they got a bit jealous," Stoinis joked in a media conference in Bangalore.

The 29-year-old all-rounder though has come leaps and bounds over the past few months. He scored 140 runs in Australia's 3-2 series win over India also picking up two wickets in the final ODI which included that of Kohli.

After a tough year, Australia are finally finding their groove in the 50-over format. They have won eight out of their last eight One-Day Internationals - three against India and five against Pakistan - and will start their World Cup title defence with utmost confidence reckons Stoinis.

"I think everyone is really confident [going into the World Cup]," Stoinis said on the eve of Royal Challengers Bangalore's home game against Kings XI Punjab. "Eight wins, to have them all away from home, I think is very important for us. We needed it as well. We lost a lot of games over the last year or so. It's good timing and I think everyone started to really believe in each other and we started playing really well as a team. It's exciting times."

Australia have further been bolstered by the return of Steve Smith and David Warner post their suspension. While Warner is currently the leading run-scorer in the competition, Smith after a few failures initially has shown decent form over the last few games. With the likes of Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell also in impressive form in the lead-up to the World Cup, Stioinis insisted that Australia had the pedigree to successfully defend the title.

"It's a massive boost," Stoinis said of the duo's return to the national side. "Also the fact that people stepped up in the last three-four months and we started winning games consistently. It all adds to the mix and hopefully, it adds to a World Cup-winning combination.

"From the outside, it might look like it's all of a sudden, a big shift, but I think it also shows the game of cricket is only about small minor details, small minor changes. I think even over the time we were losing, we learnt a lot, we starting getting closer in a lot of games. There were a lot of close game we were losing and then on the flip side when we started winning in India, a lot of them were close games as well. Just that we were on the other side."

Stoinis has been a constant presence in the Royal Challengers Bangalore side and has churned out decent numbers in the opportunities he has got both with bat and ball. While many think that IPL might not be ideal preparation grounds for the World Cup Stonis said that playing in front of huge crowds under pressure will hold him in good stead come the quadrennial event in England.

"I don't think there is any better preparation than playing the IPL, in front of these crowds, with all the pressure and all the external factors that go on, I think IPL makes it one of the strongest competition in the world," he said.

"I don't think it (my role) will change too much. I am assuming I will be batting in the middle order, whether that's 5 or 6, I am not sure. And then with the ball, doing my stuff with the ball. We are very fortunate to have Glenn Maxwell bowling pretty well at the moment as well. I see probably myself and him sharing the overs as a fifth bowling option."
First Published: April 24, 2019, 11:28 AM IST

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