All-rounder Marcus Stoinis is now fit to make a comeback for the remainder of Australia’s World Cup campaign having recovered from a side strain but coach Justin Langer is not sure of his immediate return.
Langer said there is no guarantee of Stoinis, who missed the last two World Cup games due to injury, being a part of playing XI in Thursday’s clash against Bangladesh. Stoinis suffered the injury while bowling in the match against India on June 9 which Australia lost by 36 runs.
“We’ve been monitoring him. He’s an elite athlete, he’s an elite professional. He’s done everything possible to get himself fit. He wouldn’t give up the opportunity for anything, would he?” Langer was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia official website cricket.com.au.
“He (Stoinis) is determined, so it doesn’t surprise me with where he’s at now. It’s a credit to him, it’s a credit to the medical staff that are getting him up. So hopefully he can have a real impact on the tournament,” added Langer.
While Langer said Stoinis will remain in Australia’s 15-man squad, he gave a guarded response when asked if the all-rounder could come straight back into the XI (against Bangladesh), saying: “He’s a chance.”
Australia ‘A’ vice-captain Mitchell Marsh, who had been on standby to replace Stoinis, left the Australian squad after training on Tuesday and re-joined the A group in Northampton ahead of their game this week.
Stoinis, meanwhile, bowled almost for an hour on Tuesday, first on an empty training wicket in close consultation with team medical staff and bowling coach Adam Griffith, and then joined the main nets session. He also showed no signs of pain while batting and fielding.
Australia skipper Aaron Finch had earlier admitted that the loss of Stoinis had thrown out the balance of his side, as he had to scramble to eke out 10 overs between his own part-time spin and Glenn Maxwell’s off-breaks against Pakistan.
Maxwell though played a key role in pegging back Sri Lanka with the ball on Saturday after their openers got off to a good start, and Langer insisted his side’s versatility is their trump card.
“We’ve played really well with another (team) balance. We played in India and Dubai with two spinners. I’m really confident with whatever balance we go in. It’s actually really exciting,” said Langer.
“We said at the start of the tour that we’ve got lots of options, (we are) very adaptable and that’s our strength not our weakness.
“I get the sense some people think that’s our weakness. I actually think it’s our strength that we can play according to our opposition, we can play accordingly to grounds, we can play accordingly to managing players,” the coach insisted.
Langer also confirmed Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was not a part of the team against Sri Lanka due to soreness, is available for selection against Bangladesh.
“He is getting a bit tight in his back. He played three games (in seven days) and I don’t think he has done that for a long time. He’s fit and he’s certainly fit to play the next game,” said Langer.