Monkey off some tired backs
AUSTRALIA’S circuit-breaking victory in Adelaide has come at a cost, with matchwinning all-rounder Marcus Stoinis conceding the intense scrutiny of the past 12 months had left players “cooked”.
There was nothing glamorous about Australia’s seven-run win in the second ODI against South Africa, but the effort taken to break the worst losing streak in one-day history in the midst of the off-field turmoil has lifted an enormous weight from the shoulders of a desperate team that had thrown everything at their cause.
Another batting failure made it hard to get too excited about a turnaround, but defending such a sub-par total of 231 only added to the tenacity of the fight and self-belief shown by Australia’s bowlers.
However, three-wicket hero Stoinis outlined the challenges ahead by laying bare the extreme toll this unprecedented period in Australian cricket history had taken on the players. The summer is only two games old, and Australia admit they’re fighting against a “mental drain.”
“We’re cooked right now and we just won. Maybe that’s part of it (with batting woes), the mental drain,” said Stoinis.
“… maybe it’s the amount of noise that’s going on, people are drained.
“That’s what we’ve got to work on. You’ve got to learn. Part of the art of playing international cricket is dealing with the noise.
“It’s just good to win.”
Marcus Stoinis celebrates a wicket on Friday night.