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Marcus Stoinis, the most underrated batter in T20 World Cup history?

Last updated on 20 Jun 2024 | 07:14 AM
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Marcus Stoinis, the most underrated batter in T20 World Cup history?

The 34-year-old is, as it stands, one of the best batters in T20WC history

If someone were to suddenly ask you the question, ‘Hey, who do you think is the best Australian batter in T20 World Cup history?’ what would your answer be?

David Warner, maybe? Or perhaps one among Michael Hussey, Shane Watson or Glenn Maxwell?

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll quote ‘Marcus Stoinis’ as the answer to that question – which is understandable because, hey, Stoinis is not really a name that strikes you as being the absolute best. 

But what if we tell you that Stoinis statistically already has a veryyyyyy good case for being the best Australian batter in T20 World Cup history?

As it stands, Stoinis is one among seven Australian batters to have scored more than 300 T20WC runs for the Kangaroos. 

Among them, the big Western Australian has both the highest average and the best strike rate. And he’s not just barely edged his compatriots and got ahead; his T20WC batting record genuinely blows that of every other Australian batter out of the water.

So, if we have to summarize the table above, Stoinis has been more consistent than Michael Hussey in T20 World Cups while being significantly more explosive than Glenn Maxwell. 

That is…….literal perfection. It truly cannot get better than this.

Numbers, of course, don’t mean much until and unless it actually translates into trophies. At least, that’s the way the Aussies tend to look at it. 

Turns out, Stoinis did actually play a significant hand in helping Australia win their maiden T20 World Cup, back in the UAE two and a half years ago.

The semi-final clash between Australia and Pakistan in the 2021 T20WC is largely remembered for Matthew Wade’s heroics, but on that night, Stoinis’ belligerence set up the Kangaroos' victory. 

Chasing 177, Australia were reeling at 96/5 when Maxwell holed out to Haris Rauf. 

With Australia having collapsed from 77/2 to 96/5, all the momentum was completely tilted towards Pakistan. The Aussies were truly on the ropes when the Big Show departed, but on the next ball, Stoinis launched Shadab Khan over cow corner to signal both his and Australia’s intent. 

96/5 became 140/5 in no time, and the partnership between Stoinis and Wade grew to 44. Remarkably, The Hulk was responsible for 34 of the first 44 partnership runs; Wade was on 8 off 9 at the start of the 18th over of the chase, when Australia needed 37 to win off three overs. 

We all know what unfolded next, but Wade’s heroics would never have occurred in the first place without Stoinis’ counterpunching. In the larger context, then, Stoinis’ 40* off 31 effectively turned out to be a World Cup-winning hand. 

Anyway, back to the numbers. We’ve already seen why Stoinis has a good argument for being called arguably Australia’s best batter in T20WC history. Only a statistical argument, but still.

Here’s the thing, though: the 34-year-old actually has a solid argument for being called the most underrated batter in T20WC history.

He is, as it stands, one of the best batters in T20WC history. Period. It might sound like an exaggeration, but it actually isn’t.

In T20 World Cup history, there are 76 batters who have amassed 300+ runs. 

Out of these 76, there are three batters who have maintained an average over 50, while four batters have maintained a strike rate over 150.

Stoinis is the *only one* to both average over 50 and strike at over 150. That’s right, in the 17-year history of T20WCs, there’s not a single batter on the same page. 

The right-hander’s achievements are even more impressive when you take into account the fact that each of his 11 innings in T20 World Cups have come at No.5 or below.

There have been 10 batters in T20WC history who have scored 300+ runs batting at No.5 and below. In terms of numbers, Stoinis is so far ahead of the pack that it’s actually a joke.

Highest average. Best strike rate. Joint-most fifty-plus scores. Most sixes. Best balls per boundary ratio.

And he’s managed all this while exhibiting otherworldly consistency. 

Dating back to October 25, 2022, Stoinis has registered six consecutive 25+ scores in T20 World Cups. In T20WC history, only one batter has managed to equal this streak and that’s Jacques Kallis back in 2009 & 2010. 

Noticeably, in the list you see below, Stoinis is the only outlier, for he’s a middle-order batter amidst a sea of top-order players. 

At the time of writing this, Stoinis has rightfully moved to the top of the ICC’s all-rounder’s rankings in T20Is, dethroning Mohammad Nabi. 

The 34-year-old has been Australia’s MVP in the T20WC this year, having top-scored for the Kangaroos with 156 runs at an average of 78.00 and strike rate of 190.24, while also having taken 6 wickets at an average of 8.66 and economy of 5.77. 

The right-hander has made a mockery of the ‘tough’ batting wickets on offer and has been batting on different surfaces as compared to the rest of the field, evident through his strike rate of 190.2, which is, by some distance, the highest in this T20WC among all batters who have scored 100 or more runs. 

Helping Australia win their second T20 World Cup will add to Stoinis’ legend, but, make no mistake, his legacy as a T20 batter is already set, notwithstanding what unfolds in the rest of this World Cup.

The Hulk is, in no uncertain terms, one of the best batters in T20 World Cup history. 

*all stats as of June 19

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