Australia in India 2016-17 March 9, 2017

Stoinis' bowling books passage to India


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'No such thing as form, trust what you're doing' - Stoinis

Australia allrounder Marcus Stoinis surprised many with his extraordinary innings at Eden Park last month. He will be hoping to surprise many more by contributing to Australia's Test tour of India over the next three weeks after being called up to replace Mitchell Marsh despite an underwhelming Sheffield Shield season.

Entering into this week's match for Victoria against Western Australia in Alice Springs, Stoinis had cobbled a mere 126 runs at 12.60 in six games. A first innings of 46 on Wednesday was his highest score of the season so far, but it remains a meagre base from which to launch an Indian campaign.

However the current Australian selection panel is nothing if not clear in its convictions, and as the interim chairman Trevor Hohns stated, Stoinis' greater heft as a bowler vaulted him ahead of the New South Welshman Moises Henriques, who has enjoyed a prolific summer with the bat. The Auckland performance helped too.

"When we looked at the various options we had to replace Mitch, there were two or three people who came to mind, and certainly Marcus was one, Moises was another, another young man by the name of Jack Wildermuth was considered as well, he's had a terrific season too," Hohns said.

Marcus Stoinis has struggled in this season's Sheffield Shield © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

"Marcus got over the line because a couple of years ago here with Australia A he performed very well, secondly we consider to give us as many options as we possibly could have in this series, we considered the stronger bowler to be the best option at this stage. That's what got him across the line.

"[Auckland] was very impressive, there's no doubt about that. What he showed there was his ability to perform under extreme pressure as well so that obviously was taken into account, albeit it was a different form of the game."

As a seam bowler, Stoinis has developed greater accuracy and subtle variation over the past 18 months since his international debut in a T20 in England. He is not as fast as Marsh at his fittest, but will present a strong seam and extract bounce or movement if any is available.

Stoinis' visit to India earlier in 2015, when he played in both first-class matches for one substantial score, now takes on greater significance. Pondering his chances of succeeding on the tour, Stoinis said it was vital that he knew his game and its limitations in difficult conditions - more so than worrying about the unsteady Shield ground on which he stands.

"There's no such thing as form really," he said. "I went in and made a hundred for Australia recently and hadn't made many runs before that. You just have to get involved and trust you know what you are doing."

Like most others in Australia, Stoinis has watched the events of the first two Tests closely. He said the touring team appeared to be doing a lot of things right, whether in preparation and strategy, or tactics and match play. What had gone right in Pune, Stoinis felt, had gone awry in Bengaluru - mastery of the key moments.

"I think emotions are running high and the series is on the line ... it's a big time for Australian cricket," he said. "Like every game of cricket there are critical moments and you just have to back yourself that you know what you are doing when you are out there."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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  • Jonathan on March 9, 2017, 23:09 GMT

    Talk about a lack of memory. Pat Cummins has not taken a step wrong all summer, best BBL player and certainly up there in the Aussie side in the ODI's. The selectors could have held off for a day or two to see how he pulls up after the current shield match where he has taken 6 wickets at under 14 per wicket plus a solid 42 with the bat. Maybe he needs to get some more long matches under his belt in the selectors view but he back to career best form and 10km/h quicker than Stoinis. Cummins is a consistent match winner as opposed to a one trick pony, he would have been my pick to replace Marsh, he probably wouldn't have got a run but the vote of confidence would have given him a boost looking forward to the Ashes. That being said, Khawaja should get the nod, he's been pretty hard done by, Australia's latest version of Simon Katich, there's always one player that the selectors treat like dirt.

  • Peter on March 9, 2017, 21:49 GMT

    For Sri Lanka, they selected MoHen when he had no form while overlooking Stoinis who was in top form with both bat & ball, this time round, the opposite happens? As for MoHen, he no longer bowls the spells he used to meaning he is concentrating on his batting & only bowls a few overs to relieve the pace bowlers. Based on what I have seen him this season, he most certainly is not an allrounder. This of course throws up the benefits off his batting where is in grand form. His average for the past 5 seasons is over 54 so looking at career stats doesn't give you the current picture for he was more of a bowling all-rounder when he initially played for the Blues. @PAUL_RAMPLEY. UK doesn't need to be tested in India, he comes up short on our spinning pitches. or did. Going with him would be gamble, his figures away from the SC means squat as he wasn't tested in spinning conditions.

  • Scott Campbell on March 9, 2017, 19:48 GMT

    Situation normal, I can't make sense of this decision. No form currently with the bat, not taking a significant amount of wickets, so put him in the test team in foreign conditions so he can fail on both disciplines. Suspect Maxwell will take Marsh's place. But it's the batsmen above him who have to stand up.

  • Peter on March 9, 2017, 19:13 GMT

    @Fisrt Drop. You asked "Can anyone pls tell me why Faulkner is not at the top of the list? " Here goes again seeing as you don't read my comments, I'll go again... He is averaging 30 with the bat this season. 30!! How is that anywhere near good enough for a top 6 spot? Our standards may have lowered but not that low, (although Marsh's continued selection defies that logic). As for his bowling, he has taken 10 wickets in 6 games. ! 10 wickets in 6 games! Is that the sort of form we should select our quick bowlers? If he were with any other state, he would have been dropped with those numbers by now. Now do you understand? Cheers.

  • cricfan06964670 on March 9, 2017, 18:52 GMT

    34 average with the bat. about 34 in his last 4 digs in the SHield. not even 34 first class wickets. (average 47!)

    the only thing is at least he is not 34.

    this is surely the least deserving selection ever? since the last one?

    also the least required, as we have Bird, Maxwell, Khawaja and Agar all there and available.

  • johnthekiwi on March 9, 2017, 18:47 GMT

    Why on earth is there such a huge gap between these tests? Did the Aussies fly home for Weet-Bix, sausage rolls and Tim Tams to power up?

  • Steve on March 9, 2017, 17:34 GMT

    I think it will be utterly unfair to expect Marcus Stoinis to undo all the faith and expectations placed on M Marsh, who had been played for too long because those who invested in him wanted to be proved right against reality. Stoinis should be giv en a decent run, at least one year (just like Marsh), before judgements are passed against him.

  • Mashuq on March 9, 2017, 16:50 GMT

    Thanks @CYRUS_THE_VIRUS ON MARCH 9, 2017, 11:45 GMT for your post pointing out how Hohns contradicts himself here. His fatuous 'explanations' for decisions taken are no better than Rod Marsh's. No one put up there hands as likely all rounders for India so they went back to Marsh knowing he was unable to produce his usual reverse swingers. They even accepted Agar's self-description as all-rounder. Anywhere else such deceptive and complacent practice would have had repercussions. I continue to live in hope...

  • Sainth0744022 on March 9, 2017, 14:48 GMT

    My indian Xi. .vijay rahul pujara kohli jadeja rahane saha ashwin kuldeep umesh shami...extras...ishant karun rohit bhuvi...odi xi. .rohit rahul kohli pandey dhoni kedar pandya jadeja akshar shami bumrah. ..extras. .rahane umesh chahal bhuvi

  • rajeev9986700 on March 9, 2017, 14:22 GMT

    Ashton Agar would have been also a great choice . He is a decent batsman and slow left arm spinner. He would have been a perfect choice as well. Agar had a dream debut against England . He is almost scored a century batting at No. 11. He came in at score of 117/9 and went on the score 98 on his debut test match. He is a fine prospect but it is pity he didn't get much chance .

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