Marcus Stoinis' sixth fifty had put Australia on course for a thrilling win. The right-hander had successfully negotiated Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, India's key death-overs bowlers. Australia needed 11 runs off the final over which was bowled by Vijay Shankar, who had conceded 13 runs in the only over which he bowled earlier. Stoinis was confident and was backing himself to get Australia over the line. However, with the first ball bowled by Shankar, Stoinis slogged across the line and was trapped LBW. The right-hander opted for the review in desperation but the decision could not be overturned and Australia lost the match by eight wickets to trail 0-2 in the five-match series. Stoinis was dismayed and was bitterly disappointed as it continued a trend where he has not been able to get Australia over the line.
Stoinis has hit fifty six times and has scored a century in ODIs and each time, Australia has lost. In every instance, the right-hander has fallen at a crucial time which has prolonged Australia's pain in bilateral ODI series, having not won a series since 2017. The first instance happened during the Chappell-Hadlee encounter against New Zealand in Auckland in January 2017. New Zealand reached 286/9 with Martin Guptill scoring 61 and Neil Broom slamming 73. In response, Australia were reduced to 67/6 but Stoinis kept Australia in the hunt with a 81-run stand for the seventh wicket.
The right-hander pummeled the New Zealand bowling and in a spectacular display of power-hitting with the tail, Australia had staged a remarkable turnaround. Stoinis blasted a century off 95 balls and tore the New Zealand bowling to shreds, blasting nine fours and 11 sixes. In the 47th over, Stoinis slammed Tim Southee for two sixes and the partnership with No.11 Jos Hazlewood crossed 50 with no contribution in terms of runs and balls from Hazlewood. Australia were one hit away but Kane Williamson's brilliant fielding ran-out Hazlewood for 0 and Australia lost the game by six runs.
More finishing woes for Stoinis
In the game against India in Kolkata, Virat Kohli's 92 helped India reach 252 all out. Australia were undone by Kuldeep Yadav's hat-trick and at 148/8, the game seemed to be up. However, Stoinis fought and took the attack to the Indian bowlers, slamming six boundaries and three sixes in his attacking knock of 62 but Australia still lost the game by 50 runs.
In the series against England in 2018, Stoinis failed to get Australia over the line in three out of the five ODIs as Australia were hammered 1-4 in the series. In the game in Sydney, Jos Buttler's brilliant 83-ball century helped England reach 302/6. Aaron Finch's 62 and Mitchell Marsh's 55 kept Australia in the hunt but they lost wickets at crucial intervals. Stoinis stepped in and blasted 56 off 43 balls but Australia lost by 16 runs.
In the Melbourne ODI, Australia reached 304/8 with Finch hammering a century with Marsh and Stoinis slamming fifties. However, Jason Roy's brilliant 180 helped England cross the line. In the final ODI at the New Perth stadium, Stoinis smashed 87 off 99 balls but his dismissal opened the door for England and Tom Curran's maiden five-wicket haul gave Eoin Morgan's side a thumping win.
In the Hobart ODI against South Africa in 2018, David Miller and Faf du Plessis' record 252-run stand boosted the Proteas to 320/5. Shaun Marsh hit a century and once again Stoinis kept Australia in the hunt with 63 off 76 balls with five boundaries and four sixes but with their dismissals, Australia lost by 40 runs to lose the ODI series.
In all seven matches, Stoinis has started brilliantly but has departed at a crucial time. In a cruel twist of fate, it seems Australia's only chances of winning a game is possible only if Stoinis cannot score a fifty.