Delhi Capitals’ bold move to open with all-rounder Marcus Stoinis did wonders for them in the Qualifier 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Australian all-rounder’s superb performance with the bat that helped DC get off to a flying start rubbed on his bowling performance too as Stoinis picked up 3 for 28 after scoring crucial 38 runs.
Stoinis’ all-round show impressed legendary West Indies cricketer Brian Lara. The former Windies skipper agreed that it was a brave move for DC to send their solid middle-order batsman to open the innings and indicated that RCB might have made an error in judgement by letting Stoinis go.
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“He got let off by RCB last year and see what he’s doing for DC this year,” Lara said on Star Sports after DC beat SRH to reach set-up their maiden IPL final clash against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Stoinis has scored 352 runs and picked up 12 wickets for DC this season, playing a pivotal run behind their best run in the history of the tournament.
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Stoinis has earlier opened in the Big Bash League but in the IPL, this was his first attempt after Prithvi Shaw’s repeated failure to get to double digits.
“Ricky (Ponting) had spoken to me a couple of times about the possibilities of opening the batting. It just worked out and we thought this was the game to do it. In one of the games, I batted at No.3 and it didn’t come off as we were chasing 220,” he recalled.
He also had a field day with the ball as he removed Manish Pandey and the dangerous Kane Williamson at the right time in his spell of 3 for 26 in four overs.
“Bowling in this format is always hard and it’s more about planning and having a good idea before you get to the ground.” For Stoinis, the basic idea of T20 bowling, more than taking wickets, is containment.
“Just be clear that in T20, you are not always trying to take wickets but control the run-rate and controlling the game builds some pressure.”
Asked about the big final against Mumbai Indians, Stoinis stressed that there won’t be too much tinkering with the gameplan as such.
“Preparations will be the same as usual. When big games are coming up, more important to stick to your usual strategies and routines, MI are a great team and they have been consistent all season, beaten us thrice.
“We will just bring out our best game of cricket and play our best. I reckon that will be good enough,” Stoinis said.
(With PTI inputs)