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Stoinis feared injury would end his World Cup

While recovering from his side strain, the allrounder put in extra work on his batting with Ricky Ponting

Melinda Farrell
Marcus Stoinis is congratulated on a wicket  •  Getty Images

Marcus Stoinis is congratulated on a wicket  •  Getty Images

Marcus Stoinis feared his World Cup was over when he suffered the side strain which kept him out of Australia's team for two matches. Stoinis returned to the side and took two wickets in the 48-run win against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge and also contributed an unbeaten 17 with the bat.
Australia flew Mitchell Marsh, who was already heading to England for an Australia A tour, over early as cover while Stoinis' fitness was assessed and he admitted he feared the worst when he felt the pain in his side while bowling in Australia's group match against India.
"Your mind goes there," said Stoinis. "But I think once everything sort of settled you knew it was going to be alright. My initial thought when I did it in the second over was 'oh no, I'm out of the World Cup'.
"The last couple of weeks have been so exciting and a bit of a roller coaster. I was a bit down in the dumps after I hurt myself. And again now I'm back in the team and able to do my thing."
His absence forced changes to Australia's batting and bowling line-ups against Pakistan and Sri Lanka which threatened to upset the balance of the side, although they were successful in the two matches he sat out. But Stoinis said, while the initial prognosis was unclear, he had to recover sufficiently by the game against Bangladesh to stay in the squad.
"We didn't put a time on it. The support staff did a really good job with that and not over reacting. At least going into this game, this was the deadline. I spent a bit of time with [David Beakley], the physio, and the doc. We were just doing some exercises on the side. A lot of icing at night. There's not much you can do outside of ice and get on the [resistance band] to get the muscle moving, really."
Stoinis added he was generally able to bowl at full pace against Bangladesh and was confident he could get through his allocated overs.
"It's different bowling in the nets and once the adrenaline gets going in the game. It's different bowling four overs compared to eight or 10. We weren't real sure but I was always confident."
Before he was back bowling at training, Stoinis continued to work on his batting in the nets and had a lengthy one-on-one session with Ricky Ponting feeding a bowling machine the day before his return to the side.
"If I could have one person in the world if I could have picked them when I was young to be coaching me in my batting, it would have been Ricky Ponting," he said. "He is an absolute legend, he's got a lot of knowledge about the game, so we have just been speaking about where he thinks I can go to the next level with my batting and that sort of thing. It's more just an open discussion, raising points, problem solving as we go. Coming up with different ideas."
Australia now head to London to prepare for their match against England at Lord's on Tuesday and Stoinis is keen to test his bowling mettle against England's formidable middle order.
"Yeah, it's going to be a good challenge. Hopefully I can nail some yorkers and bowl some good slower balls because we'll have to come up with some plans."
Stoinis pointed to Australia's recent ODI record stretching back to their tours of India and Pakistan as reasons for confidence against England and insisted Australia's record against them in recent years - they have won just four out of sixteen since the last World Cup and have been defeated in their past six encounters - counted for little in this tournament.
"Everyone has been working towards this for a long time," said Stoinis. "We've got two of the best players in the world who have come back into our side. We're doing things at the right time."

Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo