Marcus Stoinis, the Australia all-rounder, said the team’s turnaround in form has happened at the right time, just before the ICC World Cup 2019.
Australia had a tough 2018, but their fortunes have improved massively since the turn of the year. They beat India in India, after coming back from 2-0 down in a five-match one-day international series, and followed it up with a 5-0 sweep of Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
The eight back-to-back victories, along with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, has meant Australia are now being considered among the favourites for the World Cup.
“I think everyone is really confident. To win eight games in a row away from home was very important for us,” Stoinis told reporters on the sidelines of a Royal Challengers Bangalore training session. “We needed it. We had lost a lot of games over the last year or so. It’s good timing. Everyone started to believe in each other and we started to play well as a team.”
The improvement of fortunes may seem sudden, but Stoinis said it was a gradual process. “From the outside, it might look like it happened all of a sudden, but it also shows that the game of cricket is only about minor details,” he said. “Even in the time we were losing, we learnt a lot, started getting closer in a lot of games.”
Stoinis was also delighted with the returns of Smith and Warner from their respective 12-month bans over the ball-tampering scandal last year. Both batsmen have lit up the IPL this year, with Warner leading the charts with 574 runs in 10 outings, with a century and seven half-centuries.
“It [their returns] is a massive boost,” said Stoinis. “People have stepped up in the last few months and we have started winning games consistently. It all adds to the mixture and definitely adds to a World Cup winning combination.”