After sustaining a thumb fracture in the third ODI between India and Australia at Ranchi, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is unlikely to feature in the series decider in Delhi.
Stoinis’ replacement Ashton Turner played a match-winning knock for the visitors in the fourth ODI at Mohali, scoring an unbeaten 84 to level the series 2-2 and set up a mouth-watering clash in Delhi on Wednesday.
Speaking about Stoinis’ recovery, teammate Peter Handscomb said, “He'll look to play at some stage but it's just pain management with him. When it's your bottom-hand thumb it makes it hard to hold the bat. We've just got to wait and see with him.”
Turner did a good job with the bat in Mohali, which meant that Stoinis’ absence was not felt in that department. However, Finch, Maxwell and Richardson had to share the load in the bowling department.
Stoinis’ contributions with the bat throughout the series have been noteworthy, his 52 in Nagpur bringing Australia within a shout of victory and the 26-ball 31 in the third ODI key in getting Australia to a match-winning total of 313/5.
“To have someone as flexible as that is a great asset to any team, because then you can build a team around them and they can almost fill any hole you need,” captain Aaron Finch had said of the reigning Australian men’s ODI player of the year.
“It provides so much of a chop-out for other guys. We've seen that with India, when Hardik Pandya is fit it makes the balance of the team so much better. Same with Ben Stokes for England."
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