Stars set to shine in MCG return

There is no place like home for the Melbourne Stars as they bid to resurrect their BBL campaign.

Finally after nine matches at five different venues across Queensland, Canberra, Tasmania and South Australia, the Stars play at the MCG for this first time this season on Friday night against the Adelaide Strikers.

“For us to come back here … it’s about the history, it’s about the change rooms, it’s about walking up the tunnel on to the ground, it’s about it being your home where you’ve played for so long,” Stars all-rounder Marcus Stoinis said in detailing what it meant playing at the MCG.

“There is so much in-built to your mindset that you value about the MCG.

“The MCG also suits our selections, it suits our recruitment because of the ground dimensions, because of then wicket … the ‘G’ really does suit us.”

Marcus Stoinis is delighted to be back at the MCG. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images for the Melbourne StarsSource:Getty Images

Stoinis said the Stars remained confident of finishing in the top five despite having won just three games this season to be sitting near the foot of the ladder.

“Without feeling too much under pressure, which we don’t … it is deceptively close,” he said.

“We are sitting where we are on the ladder, but you win one game you jump up a few spots, you win two games you’re almost third. It moves very quickly.

“Now is the time to start winning. There’s no point in leaving it for another game or another two games.

“All we can do is now get on this field and put our best foot forward, compete every single ball and hopefully that leads to a win.

“We want to win because we’re all competitive individuals and we’re all proud to be playing for this franchise.”

Those individuals included the big-hitting Ben Dunk before the Queenslander parted ways with the Stars on Wednesday to pursue other opportunities.

“He’s unfortunately left the squad at this stage of the tournament but he’ll always be part of this team. He’s a great bloke and we’re proud to have him,” Stoinis said.

“It’s never easy. It’s almost like breaking up with a girlfriend when you lose someone like that but it is part of business, part of cricket, so he’ll be missed but he’ll be around I’m sure.”

In a boost for the Stars, Stoinis was confident of bowling on Friday night for the first time since suffering a side strain while playing for Australia in an one-day international against India on November 27.

“Ideally the physio gives me the all clear to start bowling (against the Strikers),” he said.

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