Australia’s selectors have lost patience with Glenn Maxwell, putting “the big show” on hiatus by dropping him for the ODI series in Sri Lanka and instructing him to work on evolving into a more consistent batsman.
While he has been omitted from the team on numerous occasions, this is the first time Maxwell has been dropped from the limited-overs squad altogether since his debut in 2012. The decision follows a run in which he has averaged 11.80 in six innings in Australia’s last 10 ODIs.
In the recent triangular series in the Caribbean, Maxwell made one useful contribution of 46* to help Australia into the final, but made only seven runs in his other three innings combined, alongside sporadic use as a spin bowler. Named to replace Jon Holland for Australia A against South Africa A in Brisbane this week, Maxwell promptly made a duck.
At the age of 27, Maxwell is at something of a crossroads in terms of his future. Less than 12 months ago he was set to be a part of the Test squad for an Australian tour of Bangladesh, but now finds himself out of the picture. The selection chairman Rod Marsh stated that the panel wanted the opportunity to pick Maxwell for all formats, but needed him to ally consistency to his explosive talent.
“If you want to play cricket for Australia, you should be consistent. If you are batsman, you should get consistent runs. If you are a bowler, you should get consistent wickets, or bowl well,” Marsh said. “As far as I am concerned, he has had a lot of chances. It got to that stage – we couldn’t go on any longer. Glenn has too many games where he doesn’t contribute with the bat. He is a hell of a good fieldsman, as we know, he is handy bowler, and, at his best, he is one of our first picked in a one-day team.
“But if he is not making runs, then we have got to find a solution to it. The solution we have come up with is to put him back a step or two and see if he can get some runs there on a consistent basis. When you have got as much talent as that, you should be able to play all forms. He took it as well as what could be expected. No one likes being dropped but he understood the reasons and he also understands what he’s got to do.”
Earlier this year, Maxwell denied he needed to go away and concentrate more on his batting, in the manner Steven Smith once did, in order to shore up his place in Australia’s plans and push for a Test berth. “I don’t think I can rest on just being a batsman,” Maxwell told AAP. “I know Steve Smith went that way when he lost his Test spot, not really bowling much at all. But I don’t think I can go that direction. I have to keep working on both parts of my game and make sure they’re good enough.”
Shaun Marsh has returned to the squad in place of Travis Head after missing the West Indies series due to the birth of his first child, while the NSW allrounder Moises Henriques has effectively come in for Maxwell after a productive IPL. “I hope he gets a game,” Marsh said of Henriques. “He’s been training the house down, really fit and I just hope his bad luck with injuries finishes.”
Australia‘s ODI squad for SL
Steven Smith (capt), David Warner, George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
In: Moises Henriques, Shaun Marsh
Out: Scott Boland, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell