Marcus Stoinis Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2019
Marcus Stoinis (AFP Photo)

After a lacklustre show in 2018, Australia started this year on a good note as they outclassed India 3-2 in their own backyard before hammering Pakistan 5-0 in the UAE. With such results, the defending champions are now being considered as favourites for the 2019 World Cup and allrounder Marcus Stoinis feels the turnaround in form has happened just at the right time.

Also, the return of Steve Smith and David Warner has further strengthened the Australian team, who will be eyeing their sixth title at the showpiece event.

“I think everyone is really confident. To win eight games in a row away from home was very important for us,” Stoinis told reporters on the sidelines of a Royal Challengers Bangalore training session.

“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,” he explained.

Stoinis also said the transformation was not something which happened suddenly but it was a gradual process. “From 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, started getting closer in a lot of games,” he opined.

Stoinis also felt the return of Smith and Warner will help the team in the showpiece event. “It [their returns] is a massive boost. 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,” he said.

Australia will start their World Cup 2019 campaign against Afghanistan on June 1 in Bristol before taking on West Indies on June 6 in Nottingham.