Game-breaker Stoinis looms large in India’s plans
Virat Kohli has pinpointed Marcus Stoinis as Australia's most potent weapon during their current tour of India, while Aaron Finch has also showered the game-breaking all-rounder with praise.
Stoinis' stocks have soared in recent years to a point where he is now Australia's top-rated allrounder in all three formats.
Stoinis is yet to receive a baggy green, despite the public pleas of Shane Warne, but was called into the Test squad ahead of Mitch Marsh for the recent clash in Canberra.
The 29-year-old has also clearly overtaken Marsh in the national limited-overs pecking order.
Kohli, who will captain Stoinis in this year's Indian Premier League, was thoroughly impressed with the all-rounder's recent white-ball performances in Australia.
"If I had to single out one player that can make more impact, that would be Marcus Stoinis," India skipper Kohli said on the eve of the tour-opening Twenty20.
"Because he's come around really well during the BBL and he's making stand-out performances on a consistent basis.
"You can see he's grown in confidence and he's definitely going to be a very important player for them."
Stoinis scored 533 runs at 53.3 while opening for Melbourne Stars in the recent BBL, the best batting average of any player in the competition. He backed that up with 14 wickets at 16.14, the second best bowling average of any player in the competition with more than seven scalps.
"To have someone as flexible as that is a great asset to any team, because then you can build a team around them and they can almost fill any hole you need," Finch said.
"It provides so much of a chop out for other guys ... having an all-rounder like Marcus in your side is so crucial.
"We've seen that with India, when Hardik Pandya is fit it makes the balance of the team so much better. Same with Ben Stokes for England."
Pandya is currently sidelined with a back injury and will miss Australia's entire limited-overs tour of India, which begins at 11.30pm (AEST) tonight.