Brisbane, May 21 (IANS) Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis feared he might miss the ICC Champions Trophy after picking up an injury while playing for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the 27-year-old admitted on Sunday.
Stoinis injured his shoulder while diving during a fielding drill in a May 5 tie against Royal Challengers Bangalore and immediately returned to Australia for further assessment.
“Definitely,” he told www.cricket.co.au when asked if he thought he’d be forced to miss the tournament.
“Initially they said it would be 4-6 weeks in a sling, but then that changed when I got home and it calmed down a little bit. It’s been good since then,” revealed the middle-order batsman who was part of Australia’s bitterly fought India tour before the IPL.
Australia begin their Champions Trophy campaign against New Zealand on June 2.
“With an injury, the first thing (you think about) is what you’re going to miss out on,” Stoinis continued.
“So I tried to forget about that stuff as soon as I could because then you could go into a bit of a spiral, which is not a good place to be.
“It’s all on track. I’ve been working pretty closely with the physios and everyone seems to be happy with how it’s going,” he added.
It remains to be seen whether Stoinis is drafted in the first XI or not but if his unavailability would have meant one option less for Steve Smith and co.
Stoinis produced one of Australia’s greatest ODI innings earlier this year when he bludgeoned a remarkable 146 not out against New Zealand at Eden Park, having been elevated into the squad when both skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner missed the series.
“It’s such a good team and there’s probably only a few guaranteed spots in there so everything’s up for grabs,” he said.
Besides Smith and David Warner, ODI performers like Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head, Stoinis could be battling fellow all-rounder Moises Henriques and batting powerhouse Chris Lynn for a spot in Australia’s top six.
Stoinis said he would want to make a mark in the practice games.
“We’ve got a couple of practice games … you’ve just got to take your opportunity and hopefully I get one. You don’t get many opportunities in the Australian cricket team … so it was good to take that (chance) early on and hopefully that stands me in good stead for the competition,” he said.