English bat Mark Stoneman 'coming home' in Sydney Ashes Test

Big shot: Mark Stoneman says he will feel like a local in Sydney. Picture: AAP
Big shot: Mark Stoneman says he will feel like a local in Sydney. Picture: AAP

English batsman Mark Stoneman credits his six seasons playing club cricket in Australia, including time with the St George District Cricket Club, as the making of him.

The opener will be aiming to break through for a much-needed big score in the fifth Ashes Test starting on Thursday at the SCG in a city that holds many fond memories.

Over the last decade, the left-hander has had stints with St George and Sydney club sides Campbelltown-Camden and Bankstown.

He was in the SCG crowd amongst the Barmy Army during the 2006-07 Ashes and Sydney also holds special significance for him having met his wife in the NSW capital.

He said the decision to venture down under proved pivotal in the making of him as a cricketer and a man and returning for the Sydney Test as an international player felt like something of a homecoming.

"It's massive on a personal front and cricketing," Stoneman said of his time in Australia.

Long way home: Stoneman spent six seasons playing club cricket in Sydney. Picture: AAP

Long way home: Stoneman spent six seasons playing club cricket in Sydney. Picture: AAP

"The two go hand-in-hand and as you mature, you learn a bit more about yourself and it helps takes your game in various directions as well.

"Sydney's been a massive part of that, I met my wife out here and she's been a fantastic supporter. Especially the last couple of years when things got a little but tough in terms of making the move down to Surrey."

Stoneman admitted the prospect of playing a Test at the famous ground held special meaning.

"When I first came over in 2006-07, I was here for the Sydney Test and that was incredible," he said.

"The Barmy Army were in full voice and Brett Lee was steaming in to bowl.

"It was just one of those things. 'How good would it be to be out there?' England weren't too good at the time."

Tough going: After making his Test debut against the West Indies in August last year, Stoneman has had a mixed tour of Australia.

Tough going: After making his Test debut against the West Indies in August last year, Stoneman has had a mixed tour of Australia.

After making his Test debut against the West Indies in August last year, Stoneman has had a mixed tour of Australia - making plenty of starts including two 50s but averaging just 29.71.

He has yet to lock down a spot for the Test series in New Zealand in March and admitted he was frustrated by his lack of runs.

"Every time you walk out to bat there's an amount of pressure there," he said.

"I haven't tried to look too far ahead at any point... and not get wrapped up in the what-ifs and what-might-be's of any schedule."

AAP