Marcus Stoinis replaces Matt Renshaw in Australia squad for second Sri Lanka Test

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Seam-bowling all-rounder Marcus Stoinis could be set to make his Test debut after being added to Australia’s squad for the second Test against Sri Lanka.

He replaces opener Matt Renshaw, who was a non-playing member of the first Test squad. Renshaw has been released to represent Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League.

Right-arm quick Peter Siddle, another member of the first Test squad, will also be available to play in the BBL between Tests, but will return ahead of the final Test of the series, which will be the first ever played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Stoinis is uncapped in Test cricket, and while his first-class stats are perhaps underwhelming – he averages 33.61 with the bat and 42.36 with the ball – he has shown in limited-overs internationals that he has the mentality and ability to adapt to the biggest stage.

He averages 42.47 with the bat in ODIs, while his 146 not out against New Zealand is rated as one of the great ODI knocks. He has also improved his red-ball numbers this season, averaging 42.57 with the bat and 25.20 with the ball.

“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,” said national selector Trevor Hohns. “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.”

The second and final Test of the series begins on 1 February. Australia take a 1-0 lead into the game, having beaten Sri Lanka by an innings and 40 runs in the first match of the series.

Squad: Tim Paine (c/wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle

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N Krishnamurthy