Sydney [Australia], November 23 (ANI): Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has said that all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is a five-time better player than he was last year.
Ponting was the coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals and Stoinis flourished in the 2020 edition of the tournament. The all-rounder scored 352 runs in 17 matches and he also managed to scalp 13 wickets.
"From the moment he turned up at the IPL, having come straight from England ... he was pretty keen to show me improvements that he'd made. And his first few net sessions, I could just tell then," cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying.
"Having spent a fair bit of time with him over the past couple of years, what I saw from him at the IPL suggests to me that he's a five times better player than he was 12 months ago," he added.
Stoinis finished the IPL 2020 in 19th place on the run-scoring charts. The all-rounder played a big role in the Delhi Capitals reaching the finals of the tournament.
"He's worked really hard on his play against spin bowling and that's one of the things that's slowed him down a little bit (in the past). When he's had to go out and start against quality spin, he hasn't had the options to rotate the strike as much as he would like. He's a lot more positive and aggressive against spin bowling now," said Ponting.
"Even the best spinners in the world were trying to tie him down in the IPL, but they couldn't do it. If they over-pitched, he'd hit them straight back down the ground first ball. If they were a little bit short, he was happy to go back and pull them for six first ball. He's a lot more confident in his own game and he's done a lot of work on trying to get better at starting his innings, whether that's against fast bowling or spin bowling," he added.
Stoinis will next be seen in action in the upcoming ODIs and T20Is against India. Both Australia and India will be locking horns in three ODIs and three T20Is before fighting it out in four Tests.
The first ODI will be played on Friday, November 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. (ANI)