Australia vs Sri Lanka Test series: Marcus Stoinis earns shock Test call-up

 foxsports.com.au  01/26/2019 11:22:00 

He will replace in the squad Matt Renshaw who has been released so he can play for the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League.

Cricket legend Shane Warne has been one of Stoinis’ most vocal supporters this summer, regularly calling for the all-rounder to be introduced into the Test set-up based on his outstanding white-ball performances.

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At the end of January’s Test series defeat to India, Warne said he believes Stoinis has the edge Australia needs against England in the Ashes this year.

“He has made some runs in all forms this year and he brings something to the table and he has a bit of an X-factor about him,” he said on Fox Cricket.

“I think he can take some handy wickets over there.”

Nonetheless, Stoinis hasn’t had an outstanding red-ball career to date, averaging just 42.36 with the ball and 33.61 with the bat in 53 first-class matches.

His promotion also suggests selectors have moved even further away from fellow all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who played just one Test against India before being dropped.

Ian Healy predicted Stoinis could be blooded as Australia’s fifth-bowling option for the Ashes during a Q and A with foxsports.com.au, saying he wants Marsh to learn from some time away from the Test side.

“I get frustrated by (Stoinis) dotting up too often and needing to hit sixes - which he’s very good at ... The last T20 game I was much happier with the way he rotated the strike,” Healy said.

“But I just think we need another bowler in England, someone who can bowl 10-12 effective overs.

“I want Mitch Marsh to breathe a bit and in a couple of years I bet we’ll go down that path and he’ll learn a lot from his time out of the Test side. The other option is Maxwell, but I just don’t think our captains use him enough.”

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National selector Trevor Hohns said on Saturday night that Stoinis was added to the Test squad off the back of “consistent” performances for multiple teams this summer.

“Marcus has been a consistent performer this season, he has displayed strong all round form in First Class cricket and continued that form into the Australian ODI series against India,” Hohns said.

“We made the decision to add Marcus to give us the flexibility to play an all-rounder in the event the conditions require an extra bowling option in the line- up.

“We’ve also decided to release Matt Renshaw from the squad so he can be available for the Brisbane Heat in their upcoming BBL fixtures.”

Stoinis was among Australia’s best players in this summer’s one-day international series against South Africa and India.

The 29-year-old was the nation’s highest ODI wicket-taker this summer, snaring 12 in six matches at 24.41. He also averaged 33.00 with a high score of 63.

Two baggy greens have been handed out already this series - to Kurtis Patterson and Jhye Richardson.

Should Stoinis make the final XI for the second Test alongside Will Pucovski, it would make four Australian Test debutants for the series.

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