Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is poised to make a triumphant return to the playing XI for their upcoming 2023 World Cup encounter against South Africa at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday, October 12.
Stoinis had to miss the Aussies' first match against India due to a hamstring injury, but his teammate Glenn Maxwell is optimistic about his swift recovery.
Maxwell, speaking to reporters, expressed his confidence in Stoinis' fitness, emphasizing his familiarity with the Lucknow conditions due to his stint with the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the IPL.
Maxwell believes that Stoinis' presence will add substantial value to the team against the formidable Proteas, as he possesses match-winning capabilities, stating, “He’ll be good to go. This is his home ground in the IPL, so hopefully he’ll enjoy being back out there in a couple of days’ time. He’s excited and frustrated he couldn’t be out there for the first game. He’s someone who obviously is a match-winner and someone you need in these types of tournaments.”
Australia had a tough start to their World Cup campaign with a loss to India. Maxwell acknowledged the disappointment but saw it as a motivating factor for the team. He urged the Australian squad to harness this frustration and come back stronger against South Africa.
Glenn Maxwell confident that Australia will bounce back as a team
Maxwell's determination was evident when he declared, “It hurts losing games, it makes you more fired up to come out and hit the ground running in the next one. You just want to keep winning, you want to get some momentum moving forward in the tournament.”
Marcus Stoinis seems to have cleared all fitness tests & is the last man to leave the Ekana Stadium after Glenn Maxwell more or less confirmed that the all-rounder was good to play. Another long spell, a long hit & some sprints up & down the pitch #CWC23— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) October 10, 2023
He also set ambitious goals for Australia, stating, “In my mind, I want us to be 8-1 when we hit the finals, that’s all I’m thinking. It would be nice to say we could go through undefeated, but obviously that chance is gone now. That’s just the competitive side of me. I just want to hit the next game as hard as we possibly can, take South Africa down and go from there.”
With Marcus Stoinis ready to make his comeback, Australia faces decisions about their playing XI. It's expected that Cameron Green might make way for Stoinis in the lineup, as the Aussies aim to regain their winning momentum in the World Cup.