The Melbourne Stars could receive a huge boost with skipper Glenn Maxwell indicating gun all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is on track to resume bowling.
Stoinis hasn’t bowled since he limped off the Sydney Cricket Ground with a side injury during Australia’s ODI win over India on November 27, but that could change soon.
It’s unlikely he will bowl on Saturday when the Stars take on the Hobart Hurricanes, but Maxwell is confident his close mate will be good to go in early 2021.
“I think he’s only a couple of bowls off,” Maxwell said.
“I don’t know how long that’s going to be, but hopefully that’s only one or two weeks. It’d be nice to have him. He’s not only a brilliant T20 batter and a fielder, he’s extremely handy with the ball and can bowl at any stage of the game for us.
“It’d be nice to have his services with the ball.”
The opener has enjoyed a steady start to the BBL, recently top-scoring with 27 in his side’s 75-run loss to the Sydney Thunder.
While batting hasn’t been an issue for the Melbourne franchise, bowling has been a problem as they’ve conceded 413 runs in their past two games and lack a medium-pace bowler who can hit the deck hard.
An injury to fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile in the recent loss to the Sydney Sixers hasn’t helped their cause, heaping more pressure on their players to nail their roles.
The top teams like the Sixers and Thunder have benefited from having plenty of versatility in their squads, and Maxwell hopes a fit and firing Stoinis can be the difference once he starts bowling again.
“Not having Stoinis bowling at the moment probably doesn’t give us that balance in the top order where you can have a couple of batters that bowl,” he said.
“To have that balance in our team is probably something that we’re missing at the moment, which means we have to go with specialist bowlers to set up our 20 overs. Unfortunately, that leaves our batting a little bit light.”