Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was Delhi Capitals' hero of the night during the match against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, as he stepped up with both, bat and ball to secure a thrilling victory for the side. In a match which went to a Super Over, Stoinis almost single-handedly steered Delhi to a strong total of 53 off just 21 deliveries, before bowling a stellar final over in which he defended one run in the last three deliveries.
Stoinis credits the significant improvement to the work he has done on the mental aspects of his game.
“I’ve come in with some confidence through good performances this year, but also maybe putting less responsibility on myself than some other years. Sometimes when you’re young and you’re in a rush, you want to do well and you’re trying so hard,” he told Delhi Capitals.
“So I think this year I sort of just wanted to express myself and its only one game, so we’ll see, you can turn from a hero to a villain quickly, but yes, my focus is on just having a lot of fun and trust that I’ll be good,” Stoinis said.
Stoinis came at a time when Delhi Capitals had lost Rishabh Pant, with score reeling at 86/4 with six overs to spare. The all-rounder revealed that he had been interacting to the side's head coach Ricky Ponting and thought 130 was a realistic target.
“I was speaking to Ricky quite a bit. I was pretty nervous because the game was sort of in the balance. But we had put on a pretty good partnership with the skipper and Rishabh. But we had to sort of readjust our thinking – Initially we were aiming for 160, but then we thought maybe 130 will be a winning or competitive score. So with Ricky and myself, we just thought, let’s get to 130 – access the conditions and then have a go,” Stoinis said.
“There are a lot of games, as a professional sportsman, that you go out and you don’t perform as well as you want to. Cricket is that type of game – you sort of get used to underperforming a lot of the time. So when you do perform and you do well for the team, it’s a very rewarding feeling,"
Stoinis said that he went to bat with a positive mindset despite the side in a tough position at the time. Merely an over after Stoinis arrived at the crease, the Capitals had also lost captain Shreyas Iyer.
“I’m super competitive. My first ball went for six, my third ball went for four, and I still in my head thought we had a chance and that something special could happen here,” said Stoinis.
“There is always that competitive spirit you have, where you still want to win and still try to execute every ball. So definitely in my head, I thought we still had a chance, and in the end that helped,” he said.