Marcus Stoinis will miss Australia’s match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Saturday as he continues to recover from a side strain. Selectors will give him every chance to prove his fitness ahead of their next match against Bangladesh, on June 20, before deciding on his future in the tournament. Stoinis sustainied the injury while bowling in Australia’s loss to India, and missed Wednesday’s match against Pakistan.
While Stoinis has batted at training and spent time in the gym, he has yet to bowl, and Australia are unwilling to risk exacerbating the injury. Australia travel to Nottingham on Sunday ahead of their game against Bangladesh, giving Stoinis another four-day gap in which to continue his recovery.
“Having four days between this game and the next game, I think that will be the ideal time to really test him out and assess him,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said. “But I think over the next five-six days, there will be a call made on that, just based on what he can and can’t do. We’ve seen him batting and running, no problem. Just he hasn’t tried to bowl yet. Just waiting for the injury to settle down a bit more.”
Australia flew Mitchell Marsh in as cover for Stoinis before the Pakistan match but they can’t call him into the squad unless Stoinis is ruled out of the tournament. Finch said selectors have not yet decided if they will play an extra batsman or bowler against Sri Lanka, and admitted finding the best team balance was a concern.
“Yeah, it’s tough when guys [are injured], especially allrounders who balance out your side really well, give you that extra fast-bowling option, as well as a top-six batter,” said Finch. “So it’s a little bit difficult trying to decide whether you go the extra batter or the extra bowler, depending on conditions.
“So I think it does make it a little bit tougher, a bit more of a challenge, no doubt. But we also did plan for that, if it did happen throughout the tournament, before you sit down and you start planning out what happens if X, Y, Z happens?”
Mitchell Marsh joined the squad in Taunton and has participated in training, although Australia’s final session at The Oval was disrupted by drizzle and none of the pacers bowled in the indoor nets. Finch said he had confidence that, while Marsh was present just as a precautionary measure, he could slot straight into the allrounder role if required.
“The answer, the short answer, is yes. There is confidence that Mitch will come in and do well if selected, if Stoinis doesn’t recover properly.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo