Marcus Stoinis made a strong case for a spot in Australia’s XI for their One-Day Internationals against India with a 60-ball 76 that helped the visitors start their tour successfully with victory over a Board President’s XI in Chennai on Tuesday (September 12).
Stoinis’s quick knock – along with half-centuries from David Warner, Steven Smith and Travis Head – powered Australia to a commanding 347 for 7 in their 50 overs before the bowlers combined to bundle out the home side for 244.
However, with James Faulkner being recalled for this tour, Stoinis could face stiff competition for the allrounder’s spot in the side. Stoinis called it a good headache for the selectors, but hoped both would make it to the team list for Sunday’s first ODI in Chennai.
“I’m sure it’s a good headache to have,” he said after the warm-up game. “He (Faulkner) absolutely dominated in 2013 here, I remember watching it from home. But we’re also pretty different allrounders. He’s probably more on the bowling side, I’m more on the batting side. He’s a left-armer and adds a different aspect to the team’s bowling. I’m no selector, but maybe there’s room for both. We’ll see.”
Stoinis would perhaps be unlucky if he misses out, for he has been with the squad without getting a run for a while. Recently, he was dropped from Australia’s Test squad for the Bangladesh tour despite not playing a single game in the India series earlier. Stoinis was also part of Australia’s Champions Trophy squad but didn’t manage a place in the XI for any of their three games.
The allrounder said he didn’t feel hard done by by the selection process, but hinted at frustration.
“Not really (feel undone), there are a lot of people in the same position who haven’t played or haven’t been selected in a while,” he said. “In every series, there are people who are hard done by. Obviously I’m ready to go and I’ve been wanting to play, but for one reason or the other, selection doesn’t go your way. But that happens in every single series. That happened in the last Test series in India to the next Test series in Bangladesh. Selection is tough and not all of us understand what goes on.”
One thing that could work in Stoinis’s favour is his experience in Indian conditions, having been part of the Indian Premier League apart from touring the country for an ‘A’ series three years back.
“I think being exposed to conditions obviously helps,” he said. “I’ve been to three IPLs and for an ‘A’ tour, we’ve got an Indian coach – S Sriram (spin consultant) – and we’re working closely with him, that helps.
“Sriram and I get along well. We were in Delhi (Daredevils) together in my first IPL. I’ve been working with him all that IPL, and then the ‘A’ series was only a couple of months after that. So I was working with him for about four months on the trot. What we were working on for that ‘A’ series was very different from what we’re working on for the one-day series; that was more about defence in the subcontinent and how you can trust that before going on to attack the spinners.”
Looking ahead to the series, Stoinis predicted a high-scoring competition similar to Australia’s 2013 tour.
“I think we have to bat really well this series,” he said. “India are in form. They’re batting really well. We need heavy runs – 350, yes.”