Marcus Stoinis and the Aussies prepare for Virat Kohli cameo



Marcus Stoinis is enjoying life under Ricky Ponting’s wing and expects to see the best of Virat Kohli during the India captain’s shortened Australian tour.

Stoinis hopes less will not mean more for Kohli when the India captain’s Australian summer cameo begins at the SCG on Friday.

The world’s No.1-ranked ODI batsman will lead the tourists in three 50-over clashes before a three-game Twenty20 series is followed by four Tests.

But Kohli, ranked second in the world behind Steve Smith in the longest format, will head home to attend the birth of his child after the first Test in Adelaide.

Australia allrounder Stoinis laughed off suggestions that the run machine would be feeling any extra motivation to make a mark before he departs.

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“Don’t worry about Virat; he’s up for every single game that he’s playing,” Stoinis said on Saturday.

“I don’t think you can get any extra motivation than 110 per cent…he’ll be ready to go.

“We’ve got our strategies (against him), had things that have worked in the past, but other times the plans haven’t worked and he’s made some runs…hopefully things land on our side of the court (this summer).”

Stoinis himself is feeling confident after a successful IPL stint under coach Ricky Ponting – who is now in Australia’s camp assisting Justin Langer – saw him propel the Delhi Capitals to the decider.

The 31-year-old made 352 runs at a strike rate of 148 and took 13 wickets during the campaign, with Ponting promoting him to open the batting in the latter stages of the tournament.

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“I’m a massive fan of his; he’s mentored me, he’s a good man, means a lot to me and his help was vital,” Stoinis said of the former Australia captain.

“He’s so generous with his time; throwing balls from the start of session until the end, then probably has a few anti-inflammatories and goes to bed for the rest of the day.

“The confidence he instils, the way he teaches you, he’s as good as you’ll get. 

“I don’t think he’s in the business of changing careers but like all those good coaches you don’t really know you’re being coached until you look back and realise (what he did was) bloody important.”

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With Steve Smith (concussion) missing from Australia’s last ODI series in England it was Stoinis who was promoted to bat three.

He said Ponting had been one factor in “a big sort of pool of events” that led to more opportunities at the top of the order.

“Punter’s a big believer in me and wants to give me responsibility in the teams that he’s been in charge of, but I’ve got to be adaptable,” he said.

“I’m just happy to be involved wherever they feel I can have my biggest impact in the game.

“Whether that’s at the top or the middle…and I’ve had these conversations with Ricky and said ‘just let me know and I’ll put the pads on.”

© AAP

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