Between the start of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in January 2017 and the end of the second match against India in Nagpur last month, Australia had won only four out of 28 ODIs.
With a World Cup not far away, the future looked rather bleak. But with the third ODI in Ranchi began a dramatic revival. Australia came back from 0-2 down to win that series 3-2 — something no Australian team had done before — before sweeping Pakistan 5-0 in the UAE.
The return of an in-form David Warner and Steve Smith will further strengthen a team that, all of a sudden, has the look of a genuine contender for the top prize in England this summer.
"I think everyone is really confident," said Marcus Stoinis before an RCB training session here on Tuesday. "To win eight games in a row away from home was very important for us. We needed it. We had lost a lot of games over the last year or so. It’s good timing. Everyone started to believe in each other and we started to play well as a team."
Fifth bowling option
The turnaround in form had not been sudden, stated the all-rounder, who is set to be an integral part of the Australian unit at the World Cup. "From the outside, it might look like it happened all of a sudden, but it also shows that the game of cricket is only about minor details. Even in the time we were losing, we learnt a lot, starting getting closer in a lot of games,” he said.
Stoinis was clear about his role in the side. "I'm assuming I will be batting in the middle order, whether that’s 5 or 6, I am not sure. We are very fortunate to have Glenn Maxwell bowling pretty well at the moment. I see myself and him sharing the overs as a fifth bowling option," he said.
Asked about the return of Smith and Warner, Stoinis said: "It’s a massive boost. Also, people have stepped up in the last few months and we have started winning games consistently. It all adds to the mixture and definitely adds to a World Cup winning combination."