Australia in India 2012-13

Maxwell will be 'more reserved' in Test cricket

Brydon Coverdale

February 2, 2013

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Glenn Maxwell prepares to swat one down the ground, Australia v West Indies, 1st ODI, Perth, February 1, 2013
Glenn Maxwell was in an aggressive frame of mind during Friday's win © Getty Images

Glenn Maxwell might be the very model of the modern cricketer, raised on Twenty20 and thriving on the short format's fast pace, but he insists he has the patience to make it as a Test cricketer as well. On Thursday, Maxwell was named as the main spinning allrounder in Australia's Test squad to tour India, meaning he is likely to earn a baggy green on the trip, and the following day he crunched an unbeaten 51 from 35 balls in Australia's one-day annihilation of West Indies.

Promoted to open the batting Maxwell scored nearly three-quarters of Australia's runs in their tiny chase of 71, racing to the target within the first ten overs. Maxwell's brisk scoring is nothing new to those who have watched him at domestic level over the past few seasons, but he has also managed to average 42 at first-class level and believes his technique can stand up to the challenges of the five-day game.

"I feel like I'm definitely a genuine batsman," Maxwell said in Perth ahead of Sunday's second ODI. "I've done a lot of work on my technique over the last few years. [Victoria coach] Greg Shipperd has been a big believer in my technique and I feel that's shone through in Shield cricket.

"I've played some good Shield innings where I've played technically really good cricket. I'm hoping I can showcase that when the opportunity arises, but yesterday wasn't really the time to do it. I'm sure if I get the chance to play Test cricket I'll probably be a bit more reserved."

Maxwell has spent some time in India in the past, visiting the country in 2010 for a training camp as part of the Centre of Excellence intake, and enjoying a short stint with the Delhi Daredevils in last year's IPL. He said his plan, if he was given the opportunity in Test cricket on the upcoming tour, would be straightforward.

"I've thought about how I'm going to be playing spinners over there," he said. "I've been lucky enough to play over there a little bit, I had the Academy a couple of years ago and had the IPL experience last year. I know my game plan over there is going to be pretty simple, using my feet against the spinners and hopefully that will hold me in good stead."

Although Maxwell is considered a batting allrounder, his offspin has developed over the past few months and the selectors would expect significant overs from him if he was slotting into the Test outfit. Maxwell said he had worked with Shane Warne this summer on the mental side of spin bowling, as well as Ray Bright and Shawn Flegler, and he was confident that the sharp turn expected on the Indian pitches would allow him greater margin for error.

"With the wickets and the way they spin, you can bowl a lot faster over there and really use your pace variations to your advantage," Maxwell said. "In Australia you've got to be a lot more accurate, a lot more consistent in a certain area, where India allows you a lot more margin for error just because of the way it spins."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (February 3, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

Is it April 1st already?

Glenn Maxwell? So Glen Maxwell will save australia?

Posted by riprock on (February 3, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Say hello to the future of Australian cricket. Aggression, exuberance of youth, versatality in the field... And, most importantly, can SPIN the ball coming from there!

Posted by Kelum_w on (February 3, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Maxwell is a good cricketer but is a long way from playing in tests. In-fact apart from Clarke all the other batsman have technical faults that can be easily exploited by a good bowling lineup or a testing wicket. SA showed it this summer and the coming India and Ashes tours will show how capable these batsman really are.

Posted by ygkd on (February 3, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

Did Maxwell have a reserved seat in the pavillion while batting in the first two ODIs, for it seemed that he couldn't wait to get back there. First game it worked when it hardly mattered, the second - well, it did matter and the less said about it, the better. That about sums up where Maxwell is curently at. One record-breakingly quick half-century does not a Test batting career make. He remains very much a work-in-progress and there are far too many of those already around the national team.

Posted by Moppa on (February 3, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

@MrArmchairCricket, no, I have never seen Maxwell bat in the Shield. Don't need to. Rule 1: if you're not batting in the top 4 for your state, you're almost certainly not a Test class batsman. Rule 2: if you have to tell people you're a genuine batsman, you're not a genuine batsman. Maxwell's first-class numbers look OK, but the sample size is far too small. His numbers are similar to Steve Smith's, but over less innings, and when Smith was picked for Tests he was clearly not Test class. If we pick Maxwell for a Test we need to accept that we are consciously weakening our batting in exchange for whatever his bowling brings (like when we picked Smith). As in Smith's case, the 'whatever his bowling brings' is... 'not much'.

Posted by DanTas on (February 3, 2013, 1:42 GMT)

Thanks MrArmchairCricket. I haven't seen him play "proper" cricket but it is good to know he can bat as a batsman should. His knock on Friday showed only that he had a reasonable eye and can slog in bizarre fashion. He's worth a risk cause he has attitude. Here's hoping he's our next Andrew Symonds.

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 3, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

I can see the temptation with Maxwell, more so than Smith anyway... A bit harsh Essex man, walking in and tapping 2 boundaries in 2 balls to almost steal the T20, knocking the Windies around with disdain for the conditions to genuinely back up his 'take more risks' comments (for which many here belted him as a big mouth), you must have an awesome 2nd XI, half Sth African are they ;-)

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (February 3, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

Don't think he belongs at test level but we will find out in India. My opinion is that he is a good T20 player but he needs more time in shield before being bought into test level. A real shame that Mcdonald and Mitch Marsh are not fit enough.

Posted by WcWhound on (February 3, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

I cannot see maxwell do any better than what he just did in the last match. Test match is a different breed of cricket. There is no technic in has batting. He just swings and hope for the best.

Posted by NAP73 on (February 3, 2013, 0:33 GMT)

Bottom line - Maxwell is not good enough for test cricket. There is still a lack of quality Australian batsmen with the right application and mindframe for test cricket. Also, it is worth remembering that he still played and missed on some deliveries in this short knock against a demoralised and weak ODI side.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 2, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

His first class record is ok - and Im sure he wont bat like that in tests. India dont have a lot of bowling so could be advantagious for us to have someone to really take there spinners on. Looks like he might get a game so I will judge after that rather than a one-day game where his instructions are different. However when it comes to England Watto should be back to help bowl a few overs and I wouldnt think Maxwell would go that well in England. However I never though Warner would last 14 months in the test cricket side and I'm starting to believe he will succeed. So its possible for Maxwell but I doubt he will last but I believe he will be more than capable against India.

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 2, 2013, 22:29 GMT)

Anyone would think Maxwell was the worst player to ever strap on a boot. And Lyon the worst bowler to play for Australia. Oh, and Warner can't bat either. There seems to be a pattern here. No? If you are right then Australia will magically go from its 15% losing rate in tests under Clarke to 85% right now. Waiting for the sky to fall.

One thing that delights me is this universal hubris amongst the English that Australia is awful and all they have to do is turn up to win the Ashes. This belief has got to be in the team as well, because it is just so widespread in English media and blogs. I'm delighted.

Posted by Nerk on (February 2, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

A technically sound batsman who can bowl off spin is what the selectors want. But its not David Hussey! You have to feel sorry for Huss, he has piled on the runs over the years but not got a look in. Then comes Maxwell, plays a few matches for Victoria and is straight in! Poor David.

There is no doubting Maxwell's abilities as a gifted cricketer. He, like Warner, has a good technique which should be able to play all forms without problems. His off spinners are not up to test standard, however, much in the same way White's leg spin did not measure up either. There is nothing wrong with giving him a chance, but hopefully he does not end up like White, discarded by the selectors for their mistake.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

Has anyone in Australia ever heard the phrase 'horses for courses'? I know Aus. fans keep claiming they are 'rebuilding', but are there really no other longer-format specialists out there? Warne's ranting about "the same players should be picked for all three formats" is not going to help this 'rebuilding', and throwing guys like Maxwell up into the pinnacle format (i.e. tests) based on short-format stats is very, very risky.

Posted by MrArmchairCricket on (February 2, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

I wonder just how many of you people commenting have seen Maxwell play a Shield game for Victoria? Maxwell the batsman is just as capable of building an innings as he is upping the tempo. Maxwell the bowler can vary his flight and turn, though admittedly, he's not a big turner of the ball... Then again, neither is Nathan Lyon.

As Potatis said, no-one thought Warner could be a test batsman, just like people thought Gilchrist was nothing more than ODI keeper before he replaced Healy.. Don't judge a book by it's limited overs cover.

Also, on a semi-unrelated note, I never thought I'd see Shawn Fleglers' name in a cricinfo article.

Posted by landl47 on (February 2, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Maxwell can certainly talk the talk. I don't think I've ever seen anyone with so little to back it up boost himself more than Maxwell.

Whether he can walk the walk in test cricket, we'll just have to wait and see.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 2, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

@OzMongrel Sir, If you think Haddin is as good as Gilly or Healy as keeper you have no idea what wicketkeeping is all about. And Gilly was never in Healy's league who was a great wicketkeeper. Gilly was a very good wicketkeeper: great against fast bowlers, decent against spinners (often failed to read Warne's flipper or Hogg's wrong one). Brad Haddin is more goalkeeper than wicketkeeper. Having said that Wade looks even worse. Australia need Paine to keep wickets and play Wade as a pure batsman.

Posted by funkyandy on (February 2, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

...and we thought Cameron White was a bad choice in a test team! Maxwell's selection would be a new low in Aussie cricket.

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 2, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

another glorified short form player who thinks he can spin the ball against indian batters.will he get a game or would the Aussies go in with only 2 pace bowlers and 2 spinners + maxwell. is this the start of a new selection policy to select odis and T20 players that can bat and bowl a bit. you need 2 quality pace bowlers which you have, you need 2 quality spinners which the don't and if you have those 2 quality spinners you can then play abits an pieces players like maxwell. or you go in with 3 quality pacers which you may have and play the captain Lyon and Maxwell. problems problems ahead i can see the captain coming back to oz as the leading run maker and the most wickets, thats if he can play the 4 tests with his fittness when he has to bat and bowl.

Posted by OzMongrel on (February 2, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

Maxwell could be an excellent foil to Nathan Lyon, who everyone seems to bag - I think it is time for all to realise that If Wade had been keeping wicket to the standard of Gilchrist, Haddin or Healy then Lyon would have about another 5 or 6 Test wickets. Also interesting to note that these chances went begging at crucial stages of matches, and if they were taken we would all be calling him a match winner. If Wade can't get this right in India, Haddin needs to be reinstated so the spinners can get some wickets. Both of these lads bowling spin in India could be just what they both need - remember that Lyon loves slow wickets and Maxwell, provided he can keep control, will get his fair share.

Posted by Essex_Man on (February 2, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Australia really are scraping the barrel these days! This fella looks like he'd be handy for my local club 2nd XI but not much more.

Posted by ravi_hari on (February 2, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

Knowing to bat and bowl and being an allrounder are 2 different things. Glenn has to improve by leaps and bounds to be noteworthy in Tests. Especially if you are facing the Indian at home. Even if Ashwin and Ojha are not the best spinners, they would be more than handy for someone who is not used to play the turning ball on slow tracks. The pace (or lack of it), bounce and turn will baffle the best batsmen and that is why many batsmen do not have a decent record in India. You need excellent technique like Zaheer Abbas or brutal power like Lloyd, Richards and Hayden. Maxwell does not have any. His innings yesterday was nothing but a mockery of batting. When you know only 71 to score and you are opening you can get away with anything. He might be the future of Australian cricket but at present he should learn the basics to succeed at International level. Dont push him into test cricket now, otherwise you would loose a good prospect very soon. Learn the hard way Glenn, wait for your turn.

Posted by Lakpj on (February 2, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

He has patience?? in that 2nd T20 he couldn't wait till SL bowled the last ball. And people should not get carried away for that 50

Posted by Potatis on (February 2, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

How many people thought Warner could be a test player just before he was picked? Seeing him bat with patience and discipline when required, sure surprised me. Warner is still developing, and if selected, I hope Maxwell follows Warner's example.

Posted by blink182alex on (February 2, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

He slogged his way to a 50 in a chase of 71 in an odi, we shouldn't get carried away as test cricket is another story. He can bat a bit and bowl a bit but he can consider himself very lucky to be going to India. SOK can consider himself very unlucky, i can only imagine what he thinks of being overlooked to Xavier Doherty, a guy who is a mediocre first class domestic spinner, do the selectors think Doherty will somehow overnight transform into an excellent test spinner?

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (February 2, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Agree with you guys, Maxwell's bowling and batting is not good enough for test level but he should do well in the shorter format as you can get away with swinging your bat in the shorter format.

Posted by dariuscorny on (February 2, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

he is probably worst of the worst players around,definitely Aus hv better players than him

Posted by fazald on (February 2, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty are the two weakest links in Australias' bowling attack and easily the two mediocre spin bowlers in world cricket today including grade cricket. It's a shame that the Australian selectors have not heard of Steven O'Keefe who is the leading spin bowler in Australian domestic cricket this season. He is also an excellent fielder and a fine batsman. He could also fit into both test and limited overs cricket since he has so much potential. This would have been a great opportunity to groom him for the all important ashes series as our spin bowling attack which looks very mediocre by international standards and could be the difference between winning and losing in India as well as in England. O'Keefe has been in the bad books of Cricket Australia for sometime and as such has never been considered for selection.. Unless there is a big change at the top of CA this guy would never get selected to play to the detriment of aussie cricket.

Posted by IMJUSTANOTHERGUY on (February 2, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

I see Maxwell very like Andrew Symonds. Both very good fielders, handy off spinners, and they both hit the ball very hard. But the only problem Symonds had in test cricket is that he tried pocking the ball around. His main game is to attack, and when he attacked, he scored runs. If Maxwell plays his game in test cricket, he could be very handy for Australia in the future.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (February 2, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

All rounder who has not taken a single wicket in ODI! Why not give O'Keefe a go. Maxwell had lucky shots come off in that run chase...

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 2, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

Maxwell's going to be another KP: he might dominate the spinners and score a quickfire 50 in a game... but the next 3 - 4 games get out in single figures.

Instead of Warne spending time developing another good wrist-spinner, he just goes off on one. I foresee O'Keefe getting called up after first test.

Posted by PFEL on (February 2, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

I just can't believe Australia are wasting O'Keefe and giving Tests to guys like Lyon & Doherty. It's absurd.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 2, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

If self confidence were the only criteria for success in cricket then Glenn would be a world beater. .. he say's he has the technique and patience to be a good test player but I think that if he had the first 5 lotto numbers he wouldn't have the patience to wait around for the final ball to drop. ... he's a product of the modern world so he has the attention span of fruit fly in my opinion. Maybe in 5 years time I will be eating my words, but somehow I don't think so.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (February 2, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

SOK is a much better allrounder then Maxwell, we made a selection blunder in chosing him.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 2, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

Maxwell is Australia's Mad Max. Or simply Australia's Shahid Afridi. Unlike Warner or Hughes both of whom have method and talent (ala Gilchrist, Sehwag, Gayle, Jayasuriya et al.) all this guy has is over-confidence, false bravado and a lot of power (exactly like Afridi).

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (February 2, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

I hope he does well over there. I agree with people saying Doherty shouldn't be there. My choice was SOK but since there's not much difference between Maxwell's and Doherty's bowling we may as well go with the batsman.

Posted by bemUSed2 on (February 2, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

I for one would rather see Maxwell in the Australian team than Doherty or Smith... I agree that his bowling may not be up to scratch but hie could be a match winner with the bat on his day... a little like Andrew Symonds??

Posted by PFEL on (February 2, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

he better not be playing Test cricket in India

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 2, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

The maxwell expirement has no chance for failiure. Just look at how well England played in the first test when they decided to put the second spinner's role in the hands of a part timer and tried to blood a specialist subcontinent player (Patel). I'm sure the fact that England performed that much better when they played two spinners was just a coincidence!

Sarcasm aside, our second spinner for the tour is Doherty and bluntly, he's worse than most part timers with an average of above 40, but persisting with Maxwell when he's bowling is just darts made for 20/20, is not going to achieve anything. If there's any single stage in the tour when there's only one specialist spinner, when England left us with an obvious blueprint, Im just going to have to puke

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 2, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

Good luck to him. It's a big gamble, though. Not sure at all about his bowling.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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