21/02/2024

Marcus Stoinis lead the Stars last night in Glenn Maxwell's absence (Photo: Izhar Khan / The Inner Sanctum)

A positive attitude despite a bleak result has Melbourne Stars stand-in captain, Marcus Stoinis, feeling optimistic that his side can turn their season around. 

The Stars were sent into bat in their home opener last night, failing to put scoreboard pressure on an impressive Perth Scorchers outfit.  

An inability to adjust to the MCG conditions immediately brought about their downfall, eventually being dismissed for 101. Stoinis said losing 4/14 in a three-over span was the catalyst for their collapse. 

“It’s always hard playing your first game of the season at the MCG. You’re not exactly sure what the wicket is going to do,” he said.

“The openers go out there with the intent to set the game up and take the game on and I think we recovered.

“Then through that middle part, [we lost] consistent wickets and [we were] then unsure where to take risks.” 

When it seemed like the Stars batters had breathed life back into their innings, the Scorchers’ bowlers swung momentum back into their favour.  

Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff mixed up their variations, taking four wickets between them. Meanwhile, second-gamer Hamish McKenzie earned player of the match honours with 2/12 from his four overs. 

Stoinis said the pace duo of Richardson and Behrendorff made it incredibly difficult for their batters to find a rhythm. 

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“We saw Jhye [Richardson] and Jason Behrendorff swing the ball a little bit early, but then also, when they came back straight out of the powerplay, they weren’t trying to swing it,” he said.

“They were holding those three-quarter seams and it nicked across quite a few of the boys.”

The home side would not go down without a fight however, putting together a much-improved performance in the field, compared to their opening game against the Brisbane Heat. 

After several missed fielding opportunities last week, the Stars created chances in the field and capitalised on some of their chances. Stoinis could not fault the endeavour of his side when the odds were against them.

“To be honest, [the fielding performance] was purely the boys bringing the right attitude,” he said.

“They had every excuse not to [bring the right attitude] with a target of 100. I think the spinners bowled beautifully, I think the boys fielded great and I’d like to think that’s probably the blueprint for us energy wise going forward.”  

After the BBL break for the first Test in Perth, the Melbourne Stars will travel Albury to face the Sydney Thunder on 23 December. Stoinis believes a continued positive state of mind can put them in good stead. 

“We can’t play the game before we get there, but we’ll get there and assess [the conditions] as best we can,” he said.

“There are no excuses, but we do know the toss does make a difference. We won’t make a mountain out of [this game] but we’ll take some learning. 

“I honestly think we took a big step forward in [terms of our] attitude. So, if we can control our attitude more often than not, we’ll start to shift things around.” 

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