T20 bombshell as Australia axe World Cup flop
MARCUS Stoinis may have been the glamorous Adonis of white-ball cricket last summer, but he faces the prospect of a long, hard scrap if he's to salvage his international career.
In the space of a few months, the 30-year-old all-rounder has gone from the golden boy to the nowhere man of Australian cricket.
Stoinis has been dumped from the Australian Twenty20 side picked to lay the foundations for next year's World Cup campaign on home soil.
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It's understood Stoinis received an average report card from the Australian hierarchy following his disappointing 50-over World Cup back in June, where he struggled to get his body right throughout the tournament but also failed to impress on other counts.
Ultimately, Australia were exposed by the frailties in their middle-order batting, and the decision to stick with an unfit and underperforming Stoinis proved costly, particularly with no other all-rounder in the squad.
National Selector Trevor Hohns made it clear Australia wants to minimise chopping and changing to the T20 squad over the next 12 months leading into the World Cup, and said Stoinis let himself down with his performances in the UK earlier this winter.
"Yeah we certainly want to see more from him. I think it's no secret his World Cup performance wasn't what he would have liked and not what we would have liked either," said Hohns.
"And along with that, his recent T20 internationals haven't been up to what we would expect from him as well. So he's missed out."
Stoinis was last year's ODI player of the year and was runner-up to D'Arcy Short for the Big Bash player of the season - yet both have been left out of Australia's preliminary T20 World Cup plans.
Short is on standby for a world class top three of Aaron Finch, David Warner and Steve Smith, but the road back for Stoinis looks far more difficult.
Same too for another BBL star Chris Lynn, who was not considered for the squad to take on Sri Lanka and faces a struggle to play for Australia again after effectively withdrawing himself from the 50-over World Cup race earlier this year due to a desire to focus on - ironically - Twenty20 cricket.
"Chris Lynn we haven't considered him at the moment. Chris at the moment isn't playing any cricket locally or within Australia. Sure he's been travelling the world playing T20 cricket," said Hohns.
"If he performs very well in the upcoming Big Bash, our season here, of course we can revisit that."
Short was nominated by Hohns as the most unlucky man - not selected despite being crowned BBL player of the year for two summers running - but ultimately knocked out by the presence of world class players in his position.
"There is always unlucky people when it comes to selecting any squad or team and D'Arcy operates in the area where there just happens to be Smith, Warner and Finch," said Hohns.
"It's probably difficult to squeeze one of those fellows out. D'Arcy is a standby player at this stage."
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins were chosen to spearhead the attack while Warner and Smith will return in the only format they haven't so far featured in since their international returns.
Hohns said that while workloads for multi-format stars like Starc, Cummins, Warner and Smith must be managed, and that BBL form will be taken into consideration, Australia will strive to stick with the nucleus of the 14-man squad named to play Sri Lanka.
"The squad has been chosen with a view to the upcoming World Cup in 12 months' time," he said.
Gillette T20I schedule vs Sri Lanka:
Sunday, October 27 - First T20I, Adelaide Oval
Wednesday, October 30 - Second T20I, The Gabba
Friday, November 1 - Third T20I, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Gillette T20I schedule vs Pakistan:
Sunday, November 3 - First T20I, Sydney Cricket Ground
Tuesday, November 5 - Second T20I, Manuka Oval
Friday, November 8 - Third T20I, Perth Stadium