Stars have attitude problem: Stoinis

Marcus Stoinis has identified the Melbourne Stars’ attitude in the field as the main thing that let them down in their 15-run loss to Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday night.

Having already taken 3-38 from his four overs, Stoinis came close to rescuing the Stars with the bat, making 99 from 51 balls to keep his side’s flame flickering until the match’s final over when he was run out diving for his 100th run. It was an emotional knock for the gun all-rounder, who said he spent the innings thinking of his father Chris, who died last month after a long battle with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Stoinis looked to the sky as he walked from the field after being dismissed.

Had Stoinis and James Faulkner (47 not out), who together put on 137 for the fifth wicket, managed to haul their team to victory, it would have been despite a sloppy Stars effort with the ball. New captain John Hastings and Scott Boland copped the most punishment, both conceding 48 runs from three overs. But Stoinis said the primary issue identified by Stars coach Stephen Fleming after the game was the way his team moved in the field.

“I think we could have hustled a bit more in the field, put a bit more time pressure on them. We were a bit slow. A couple of twos – I was guilty of that,” Stoinis said.

“It’s OK when you get hit off a good ball, I think, but more so [the issue is] our attitude in the field.

“There’s not too much to turn around. Attitude is the main thing. If we turn that around, the rest will take care of itself. We only just lost and there were a lot of little key moments that could have gone either way. It’s definitely not a big deal, I don’t feel. In saying that, you want to win.”

The Stars have six days to lift their game ahead of their next match, away to the Perth Scorchers on Boxing Day, when they will be without Kevin Pietersen, who is returning to England briefly for Christmas.

West n Stoinis is also heading home for Christmas, travelling to Perth ahead of the Scorchers clash to be with his family, many of whom plan to attend that match. It comes after a difficult period for the family. Stoinis, who had been in the running for spot in ‘s Ashes team, temporarily withdrew from playing with WA before his father died.

Stoinis said his father was still at the forefront of his mind. “I just miss him and it’s weird, it was the only thing I was thinking of when I was out there. I’m sure he’s watching somewhere,” he said.

“I don’t know what [emotional] spot I’m in. I’m a lot more relaxed than I thought I’d be, but I miss him every single day.”

The Heat posted an imposing total of 7-206 despite missing the destructive Chris Lynn, who was not risked after an issue with his hamstring. Lynn, who is aiming for a quick return following shoulder surgery in July, has not been publicly ruled out of Heat’s next game against the Melbourne Renegades on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, although the word from the Brisbane camp was he was more likely to return against Sydney Thunder at the Gabba next Wednesday night.

Joe Burns was one of several Heat batsmen to make significant contributions, scoring 50 from 28 balls,although the former Test batsman was set to face scans over a groin concern.