IPL 2019: Can Marcus Stoinis emerge as the biggest player for RCB?
The biggest cricketing carnival is back. The ‘Red Army’ from Bangalore is all set to take on the defending champions, the ‘Men in Yellow’ from Chennai in the tournament opener tonight. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are yet to win the coveted Indian Premier League title, will enter the tournament with only one target in their mind - to end their title drought.
In a bid to do so, the perennial underachievers of IPL retained most of the players and kept the team's core intact ahead of the auction. Once again, they managed to assemble a formidable squad, and their team is looking solid on paper ahead of the 12th season of world's biggest T20 extravaganza.
However, Royal Challengers Bangalore made their best signing well before the auction. They traded middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh to Kings XI Punjab for Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis during the transfer window. It can prove to be a masterstroke for RCB as Stoinis may emerge as their biggest player of the season. He may well prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle RCB were searching for the seasons until now.
Stoinis is an all-rounder of the highest quality, and his star continues to rise after putting together many superb performances in domestic T20 league as well as in the national colors.
He is a hard-hitting batsman who can clear the boundaries at will. He is pre-dominantly a middle-order batsman who can finish the matches for his team. However, he has recently transformed himself into a capable opener who can provide his team blistering starts. His opening abilities were full on display in recently concluded Big Bash League where he carried his team to the finals. While opening for Melbourne Stars, he scored 533 runs in 13 innings at an outstanding strike rate of 130.63.
After the departure of Quinton de Kock to Mumbai Indians, RCB lacked a hard-hitting opener who could provide them flying starts and make the most of first six overs. Stoinis can prove a very effective opener for RCB, and it will also allow Virat Kohli to play at his natural number three position.
Besides, Stoinis also is a very handy bowler who can even bowl at death. He is a clever white-ball bowler and has an excellent slower ball in his arsenal. In BBL 2019, he picked up 14 wickets with the ball in the in his hands in 11 innings. He has a knack to break partnerships at the crucial junctures and will provide the right balance to the RCB team.
Stoinis was adjudged Australia's Men's One-Day International Player of the Year in Australian Cricket Awards, 2019. In BBL, He was in a red-hot form with both bat and ball for his franchise Melbourne Stars, and if he can replicate his performances for RCB too then, there is no reason for not to believe that Kohli & Co. can finally get their hands on the prestigious IPL trophy.Published 23 Mar 2019, 16:22 IST