Top 5 contenders for the No. 6 spot on the Australian side for the Ashes
In Test cricket, the No. 6 position plays a very important role. If the team is under pressure, the batsman at No. 6 can steady the innings and get the team out of trouble. If the team is in a good position, he can consolidate the innings and help the team drive home the advantage.
Australia has been unsure of its No. 6 for some time now. Of the many players that it has tried out since 2013, only two batsmen have scored at that position – Steve Smith in 2014 and Glenn Maxwell earlier this year.
Also, Australia tried out four players at that position in its last nine Test matches, and all of them were inconsistent.
The team's selectors and manager have made it clear that the No. 6 slot is still open. With the Ashes not far away and the race for the No. 6 still wide open, here’s a look at the top five contenders for the position.
#5 Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis made his first-class and List A debut in 2009. But it was only in 2013-14 when he moved to Victoria that things started to change for the all-rounder. He was Victoria’s leading run-scorer in the 2014-15 Sheffield Shield season.
After failing to impress in his debut outing in 2015, he got another chance earlier this year in the Chappell-Hadlee series, where he announced himself with a majestic 146 after the Aussies were reduced to 67/6 chasing 287. Though Australia lost the game by six runs, Stoinis’ calibre was evident.
Following a prolific start to his ODI career (where he averaged 87.25 after just eight games), Stoinis stands a good chance for an Ashes berth. He has shown that he can handle pressure, can bat well with the lower-order, and is also a very handy bowler.
A good start to this season’s Sheffield Shield tournament can make him one of the front-runners for the No. 6 slot.
Matches: 43 | Runs: 2,386 | 100s: 4 | 50s: 16 | Ave: 35.08 | HS: 170