Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is confident that his thumb injury will have healed completely by the time the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 comes around.
Stoinis fractured his right thumb during Australia’s limited-overs tour of India earlier this month. It caused him to miss one game, but hasn’t come in the way of his participation in the ongoing series against Pakistan.
Stoinis has only been used minimally this series. He has bowled eight overs across the two games and conceded 54 runs without picking up a wicket. And he hasn’t been required with the bat, with Australia’s top-order in peak form.
However, Stoinis said that he has been okay to play normally, although he has had to keep the finger guarded while fielding. "I'm pretty happy it didn't keep me out for too long," he said on the eve of the third ODI in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday, 26 March.
"It was uncomfortable for a good couple of days. It's just something I'm going to keep covered up while fielding. But it's pulled up pretty well. After each game, it's been okay. I think I'll be over it by [the World Cup]. I think it should be completely healed within four weeks."
Stoinis has been busy travelling around the world for the last few months. After a long Big Bash League season with the Melbourne Stars that went all the way to the final, Stoinis took the flight to India for the five-match ODI series and is now in the UAE for as many games against Pakistan.
He will return to India at the end of that tour to join his new Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then, if he’s selected for the World Cup, he will fly out to Brisbane with the Australian squad for a training camp ahead of the event, and then take the flight to England.
"It has been a long time," he said of life on the road. "Fortunately, it's always easier when you’re winning and we're just making sure on my off days, you're chilling out.
"I'll have my family come over to meet me in India, and then again, I’ll probably meet them in Brisbane in the World Cup prep. I might bring a couple of mates over for the World Cup, if I’m there, pending selection.
"For me, it's about having people around, making sure I’m staying in contact with home. But it is a long stint."
Making that stint worthwhile, though, is the success he’s had with the Australian team over the last few weeks. After a famous series win in India, where they came back from 0-2 down to win their next three matches, Australia have now taken a 2-0 lead against Pakistan.
Another win on Wednesday will help them keep their unblemished record in bilateral series against Pakistan in the UAE. "The group is coming together well leading up to the World Cup," Stoinis said.
"We've had a lot of reflection to do over the last 12 months - on how we've been playing, playing in different conditions and people gaining experience. It's good to get a bit of reward for hard work."