Perfect timing for Aussie hulk to go big

Lucknow Super Giants' Marcus Stoinis celebrates his century. Picture: R.Satish Babu / AFP
Lucknow Super Giants' Marcus Stoinis celebrates his century. Picture: R.Satish Babu / AFP

Marcus Stoinis concedes he’s not a likely top order option for the T20 World Cup despite blasting a maiden IPL century batting at No.3 for the Lucknow Super Giants.

Stoinis has become a T20 freelancer after losing his Cricket Australia contract, and his place in the Australian ODI side, but still harbours ambitions of making the squad for June’s World Cup.

His brilliant 63-ball innings of 124, which guided his team to victory with three balls to spare, was timely given he’d made only 130 runs at an average of 21.67 in the IPL this season before being thrust to the top of the order.

It was his second highest T20 score, eclipsed only by the astonishing 147 not out he made for Melbourne Stars against Sydney Sixers in January 2020 at the MCG.

Stoinis knows where he stands in the pecking order when it comes to the World Cup and conceded he was “lucky” to have the IPL to push his case.

“I’ve a great relationship with the coach (Andrew McDonald), me not getting a contract – I knew that a while ago,” he said after his matchwinning innings.

“It is great to get young kids a spot and let them have a crack. I am absolutely fine with that on the contract front. On the playing front, I want to make sure I am there. That’s why it is lucky for me to have this competition.”

But Stoinis knows he’s not in line to bat in the top order given the IPL form of Travis Head and with Mitchell Marsh, the likely captain, having starred in the No.3 spot.

“There’s plenty of better openers than me. It is nice to get in early and build an innings but I am also set there in the middle order,” he said.

“It is not just go go go. It’s ebb and flow.”

Both McDonald and selection chief George Bailey have declared that IPL performances will be a significant factor when it comes to choosing the World Cup squad.