Virat Kohli is always up at “110%” when it comes to being motivated, so he will be “ready to go” in Australia before going on paternity leave following the white-ball games and the first Test, according to Marcus Stoinis.
Asked at a press interaction if Kohli might be a bit more keyed up than usual to make an impact because he would be missing the last three Tests to be back at home with his wife for the birth of their first child, Stoinis said, “Don’t worry about Virat, he’s up for every single game that he’s playing. Yeah, maybe there will be extra motivation, but I don’t think there’s any extra motivation than 110%. So let’s see. I am sure he will be ready to go. He is getting home for the birth of his kid, which is the right decision in my opinion. So I am sure he will be extra motivated.
“We’ve definitely got our strategies, we’ve had things that have worked in the past, and at other times the same plans haven’t worked and he’s made some runs. Obviously he is a great player, and to all these good players, you do what you want to do, you have your plans, and on the day, you get extra competitive and you hope it all falls in your side of the court.”
“Punter [Ponting] wants me to take more responsibility in teams that he has been in charge of. But, at the end of the day, I think I just have to be adaptable about batting in every position, pretty much from one to seven, (as I have) over the last three years”
Stoinis is coming into the white-ball games against India – starting with the three-ODI series on November 27, and then the three T20Is – on the back of good form in the IPL, where he was one of the major forces that drove the Delhi Capitals to their maiden final, before they lost to the Mumbai Indians. He averaged 25.14 in scoring 352 runs from 17 innings at a strike rate of 148.52, and also made an impact with the ball, picking up 13 wickets at an economy rate of 9.53 and an excellent strike rate of 13.6.
“I will hopefully continue to bring that form into the summer, but there’s nothing really too different (that I have been doing). The break was great – as bad as it was with Covid – it was nice to come back quite fresh into all these competitions. I feel like I was going well in England before leading in as well, so hopefully the results keep coming my way,” he said. “But it also helped that we had a good team, we had a great team; I was very fortunate to be in the same team as Ricky Ponting, who was our coach.”
‘Punter wants me to take more responsibility’
Calling himself a “massive fan” of Ponting and sharing credit with the former Australia captain for “whatever personal success I had in the IPL”, Stoinis elaborated on the equation between the two men while at the IPL.
“He’s also not someone who will sit there and tell you what to do. He will either show you the way or only sort of speak to you when he thinks he has something that can help,” Stoinis said. “You have to ask him, but I don’t think he is in the business of changing careers; like all those good coaches, you never really know you’re being coached until the end, when you look back and think that was that, bloody important.”
With concussion putting Steven Smith out of Australia’s last ODI series in England – shortly before the IPL – Stoinis was moved to No. 3 in the batting order, and he said Ponting had been one among “a big sort of pool of events” that led to the promotion.
“I think there’s been a big pool of events that are leading towards me moving up the order a little bit. But I also really enjoy batting in the middle order for Delhi in the IPL,” he said. “Punter [Ponting] wants me to take more responsibility in teams that he has been in charge of. But, at the end of the day, I think I just have to be adaptable about batting in every position, pretty much from one to seven, (as I have) over the last three years. So I just have to keep that mindset, I guess.
“I am just happy to be involved wherever they feel (I will have) the most impact on the game, whether that’s in the middle order, whether that’s where my biggest impact is for the team, whether they want to get me up earlier… I know I have had these conversations with Ricky, ‘just let me know when to put the pads on’, ‘let me know when I’m in and I’ll try to do the best job I can’.”