Australia v India, 4th ODI, Canberra January 19, 2016

Maxwell can be a long-form specialist - Warner


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'Maxwell is maturing with age' - Warner

David Warner knows all about the progression from Twenty20 slogger to Test batsman. After all, Warner played T20 internationals before he had even made his first-class debut, and is now Australia's Test vice-captain and the No.5 Test batsman in the world. Warner believes that allrounder Glenn Maxwell is on a similar path after bringing his batting back a gear in recent times.

Although Maxwell has played three Tests he was far from a success, and internationally has been viewed more as short-form specialist with his magician's bag of trick shots. However, Maxwell has worked hard on refining his batting in the past year, and at the MCG on Sunday night he steered Australia to a series win over India with a composed innings of 96, reaching fifty at a run a ball and pacing his effort to perfection.

It was the kind of innings that arguably neither Warner nor Maxwell could have played at the start of their careers and Warner, who had been away on paternity leave after the birth of his second daughter, was watching with interest on television. He said he had no doubt that Maxwell's progression in recent times suggested he could also become a Test batsman and add to his three caps, which were all won as a spinning allrounder in subcontinent conditions.

"I was very, very excited to see Glenn Maxwell go out there, play a mature innings and get us home," Warner said ahead of the fourth ODI in Canberra. "He's been picking a lot of people's brains and that's the good thing about Maxy, he's maturing with age and I think we're yet to see his real talent.

"We saw a glimpse of it the other night, a mature innings. In a BBL game I think he might have got 50 off 40 balls as well, without taking a risk. That's what we have to keep reiterating with him, is he's capable of doing that, he doesn't need to come out and play that big shot from ball one.

"Like all of us we like to hit a boundary in our first ten balls to get us off and going, but it's exciting to see what he did the other day ... There's a few critics out there and we've all had them before, labelling him a Twenty20 specialist. I believe he can be a long-form specialist too."

Warner has rejoined the squad for the fourth match at Manuka Oval having missed the previous two matches, and he is likely to walk straight back in to open with Aaron Finch despite the success of his replacement Shaun Marsh. At the Gabba, Shaun Marsh made 71 and he followed up with 62 at the MCG, and Warner knows that the selectors face a tough call on how to structure such a successful batting order.

"It is always good when you get time away from the game, but you don't want to miss too much cricket because at the end of the day you're giving an opportunity to someone else," he said. "That's fantastic but you've got to come back and you've got to be switched on and you've got to score runs as well.

"The greatest thing about Australian cricket at the moment is we've got such good depth … There's always pressure on every batter. You've always got to be at the top of your game, you've always got to keep continuing to score runs. It's a fickle game, if you're out of form it can cost your spot for a year or two."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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  • Craig on January 22, 2016, 1:30 GMT

    Maxwell should not be seen near a test side until he has put together at least consecutive 600-800 run Shield seasons. Not sure he even played shield last summer. In five games this summer he has a couple of fifties. Consistency has and remains his biggest problem.

  • chris on January 21, 2016, 8:12 GMT

    i recon hes got all the tallent work the mental hame and we could have another warner or smith who all were not fit for test cricket in the begining. its worth a shot

  • karthik on January 20, 2016, 7:41 GMT

    maxwell will end up like shahid afridi or andrew symonds

  • annoyed on January 20, 2016, 5:36 GMT

    "They already have Warner for throwing his wicket away" yeah but we'll conveniently leave out his average of 51 and 15 odd test hundreds eh @MINUSZERO

  • Harvey on January 20, 2016, 4:13 GMT

    The boys club is alive and well. I am sick of players prompting selectors to pick their mates. Maxwell doesn't have the patience for tests. They already have Warner for throwing his wicket away, dont need another. Also, Maxwell's bowling is not good enough to be considered an allrounder so he would have to be picked as a batsman and there are plenty more better.

  • sam on January 20, 2016, 4:11 GMT

    @Disco-Bob- Talent is not the issue.Has all of it in the world.And more.Key as some 1 rightly mentioned is 'mentality'.Will he use all that talent to decimate the opposition-Gilly-or the other way round,to downfall,reversal of himself,own team ?

  • Colin on January 20, 2016, 0:54 GMT

    I think Maxwell could make the leap based on his massive talent. The issue is attribute and mentality not physical ability, This mental ability is the essence of a great test player. Some even succeed with less physical talent and more mental talent. For example Geoff Boycott.

  • John on January 20, 2016, 0:54 GMT

    It's impossible to tell whether Maxwell could be a test specialist until he's given a chance. The timing is pretty much right, because with Voges now 36 Australia will be looking for a #5 in the next year or so and Maxwell at 27 is just at the right age to break in. The fact is that some make it and some don't; Bevan never did and neither did Morgan, England's present SF captain. Maxwell's FC record is OK, but an average of 41 is marginal. Of more concern is the lack of hundreds; only 5 FC centuries seems to indicate that he gives his wicket away too often rather than going on to big scores. I'd want to see him put together a run of big scores in FC cricket to show that he has the concentration necessary for tests. Forget his bowling, he's not going to take many test wickets, especially with Lyon in the side. He either makes it as a batsman or nothing. His fielding, on the other hand, is brilliant- that's a big bonus for any side.

  • Wayne on January 19, 2016, 23:48 GMT

    I would love to see Maxwell break into the test side and become a Ben Stokes/Moeen Ali player at number 6 or 7. A good number 6/7 can often change the tempo of a test match (Adam Gilchrist). If Australia want to improve their test record on the sub-continent flexible players such as Maxwell & Ashton Agar are vital. Agar's batting has improved out of site this year for Western Australia. Both of them have the potential to be long term test batting all rounders.

  • Phil on January 19, 2016, 23:02 GMT

    One of the main reasons why Maxwell hasn't been picked (apart from his temperament) is that Aus already have a right arm, off spinner in Nathan Lyon, who's now a permanent member of the squad. For Maxi to get in the test team, it will be based on his batting solely. I do think he's good enough, but batting doesn't seem to be the issue. On the subject of test all rounders, how about James Faulkner instead of Mitchell Marsh?

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