In the lead-up to the highly anticipated ICC World Cup 2023 opener against India, the Australian cricket team is facing a significant concern regarding the fitness of their seasoned all-rounder, Marcus Stoinis. Stoinis sustained a hamstring problem during a one-day international match against the hosts last month, leaving his availability for the opening clash in Chennai uncertain.

The 34-year-old all-rounder experienced discomfort after Australia’s first game during their 2-1 series defeat and subsequently missed two warm-up matches.

Coach Andrew McDonald provided insight into Stoinis’s situation, stating, “That happened after the Mohali game. He pulled up a little bit sore from that game and then further investigation obviously led to that being a slight hamstring, and then he’s just rehabilitating.”

While there is hope that Stoinis might recover in time for the tournament opener, McDonald admitted that it’s a “touch and go” situation. The team’s cautious approach during the practice games was evident as they refrained from risking Stoinis’s participation.

McDonald emphasized the importance of the next few days in assessing Stoinis’s readiness for the first game, saying, “So he’s being probably slow played a little bit with the view to these next couple of days being really important for him to press for selection for game one. We’ll see how it unfolds.”

Stoinis is a crucial component of the Australian squad, one of the five all-rounders who are expected to play pivotal roles in the team’s quest for their sixth World Cup title. The uncertainty surrounding his availability adds an element of suspense to Australia’s preparations for the tournament.

In addition to Stoinis, the workload of the team’s lone specialist spinner, Adam Zampa, is also being carefully managed ahead of the tournament. As Australia gears up for the World Cup, the management will be closely monitoring the fitness of their key players and making strategic decisions to ensure the team’s best chances for success in the competition.

By Ritik Sharma

A common man who is doing calm se kaam, a failed cricketer, still in love with it. Establishing my journey into Journalism & if you love my articles then share it with your dear ones Instagram - @ritiksharma45