Ashley Mallett
Former Australia offspinner

Maxwell could be Australia's X-factor

His all-round talents, especially bowling spin and batting against it, will be desperately needed in India

Ashley Mallett

February 14, 2013

Comments: 55 | Text size: A | A

Glenn Maxwell sends down a delivery, Victoria v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, MCG, 1st day, November 22, 2011
Glenn Maxwell has the potential to become more than a part-time spinner © Getty Images
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Glenn Maxwell could be the spinning surprise for Australia in India.

There is a lot to like about the young Australian allrounder. He bats with purpose and flair, not unlike Kevin Pietersen, fields like a Trojan, and his offspin bowling is coming on a treat.

South Australia's Nathan Lyon will lead the spin attack. His Test record is good (61 wickets at 32.16 in 19 matches), but his last two outings in first-class cricket have been a concern, in that he has spun the ball hard but has bowled with a flat trajectory, rarely bothering opposing batsmen. In the last Test against Sri Lanka, on a turning SCG wicket, he took 1 for 69 and 1 for 66, followed by 0 for 77 and 1 for 15 for South Australia versus Victoria in a Sheffield Shield clash.

If Lyon struggles in India, Maxwell will have to shoulder an even greater burden. Happily for Australia, it looks like he thrives on the challenge and is eager to take the Indians on. He is obviously a confident young man without being overly brash like Pietersen, and that is evident in his strokeplay, especially during that audacious unconquered 51 against West Indies in Perth, and in his being able to hold up well with the ball when under fire. He might go for a few fours but he always looks like he will get his man. There seems to be a technical hitch with his front arm, but he spins it hard and has great belief in his ability.

While Tasmanian left-armer Xavier Doherty is in the squad, I think he will play only if Lyon loses all form. It appears the selectors would prefer a spinning allrounder as a back-up slow man. Such a strategy makes sense in a team that is bereft of many good players of spin bowling. The batting needs a boost and that means Maxwell is in competition with New South Wales allrounders Steve Smith and Moises Henriques for a Test spot.

However, Maxwell is far and away a better spinner than the legspinner Smith, whose form with the ball has been abysmal and whose faulty action is greatly inhibiting his progress. Henriques, a medium-pacer, is unlikely to play in the Tests unless Australia opt for Lyon as the sole spin bowler.

India seem almost certain to prepare spin-friendly tracks, perhaps even those of the spitting-cobra variety, in the hope that their spinners R Ashwin (offbreak) and Pragyan Ojha (left-arm orthodox) will outbowl Lyon and Co. Don't be fooled, for Lyon and, I suspect, Maxwell will do a good job. They aren't quite in the Graeme Swann class, but they are talented, eager to improve, and may give Australia the edge.

Maxwell is the latest millionaire in the IPL, collecting a truckload of loot in signing with the Mumbai Indians, but it is his upcoming performances for Australia in the Test series in India that might make a lasting impression. He came into the Victorian limited-overs side in 2009-10, but it was the following summer that he first gave notice of his fabulous skill, with a 19-ball half-century - the fastest domestic one-day fifty in the nation's domestic history - for Victoria against Tasmania. His powerful striking has made him a threat in all three formats and his maiden first-class hundred came in March 2011, when he scored a brisk 103 not out against South Australia.

 
 
The likes of Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade are extremely vulnerable to quality spin bowling. Australia cannot rely totally on the skills of Michael Clarke
 

The half-century in Perth gave notice that here was a young man who could improvise and adapt to demoralise and defeat his opponent. It was a batting show that would have delighted Pietersen. Unlike Pietersen, Maxwell is not mentally fragile, but like him, he is ever willing to take the opposition attack on and unafraid to try an improvised shot to bemuse and defeat the bowler.

As a bowler, I suspect Maxwell will become better than a part-timer or a second option for future Test sides.

His all-round talents will be desperately needed in India, where the preponderance of left-hand Australian batsmen will be sorely tested by the home team's spin bowlers. The likes of Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade are extremely vulnerable to quality spin bowling. Swann must be rubbing his spinning fingers in glee at the prospect of bowling against so many left-hand batsmen in the coming Ashes battles. Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, not a big spinner of the ball, but clever in his subtle changes of pace, made the Australian batting look ordinary at times this summer.

Australia cannot rely totally on the skills of Michael Clarke, whose batting against spin probably has no equal worldwide at the moment. Even Shane Watson struggles against good spin bowling, and, like all the left-handers aforementioned, he is much more comfortable against the faster bowlers, when the ball comes on to the bat.

The Indians will play Ashwin and Ojha, but they may also call on the services of Harbhajan Singh, who has worried Australian batting line-ups over the years and has a knack of getting under the skin of the opposition. They are not a patch on Erapalli Prasanna and Bishan Bedi of old, but on spinning minefields they will worry the Australians.

The Australians would do well to take a leaf out of the Michael Hussey book of batting. He hustled from the outset, always looking for ones and twos. The main thing is to rotate the strike, break the rhythm of the bowler and test his patience. The batsmen must keep the scoreboard ticking over.

If Australia do that then Clarke's men might just turn the tables on the Indians. And Maxwell is just the young man to provide Clarke with a real X-factor in his team's quest for victory on the subcontinent.

Ashley Mallett took 132 Tests wickets in 38 Tests for Australia. An author of over 25 books, he has written biographies of Clarrie Grimmett, Doug Walters, Jeff Thomson and Ian Chappell

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Posted by Thefakebook on (February 17, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

@Meety No but Smith was a good leggie but now he just wants to play as a batter and is good nuff to do so in ODI and T20 but with likes of Usman,Watto,Eddy &Hughes there is no room for a non bowling batter.But Glenn can still be that no 7 offsping allrounder and gradually develop as all format all rounder like Roy(again no comparison though).

Posted by Meety on (February 16, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

@Thefakebook on (February 15, 2013, 19:49 GMT) - I believe Maxwell could develop like Warner in terms of batting in Tests, & there is something in his bowling for him to be taking wickets at the Shield stats he has too. (I said the exact same about Smith). I think he hasn't done enuff to warrant the wind being blown up his preverbial at this point.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 15, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

On India's spinning tracts, it will be a mistake to go with only one specialist spinner. Just ask England. You need to play Lyon and another spinner, preferably a left armer. Our right handed batsmen are weak against left arm spin. As Cook and KP would tell you, Ashwin and Ojha are not that great spinners. Our selectors left out our 2 best spinners - Rasool and Nadeem simply because those 2 are from small towns and don't have any clout.

Posted by Thefakebook on (February 15, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

@Chris_P No mate I agree with you,I don't believe Glenn will play at all even, may be an odd game but my point was he could do it if he puts his mind and body togther and concentrate hard.I don't agree though that he is a pure t20 guy.No he's got the technique of proper batter just needs patience.

Posted by cricket_pak419 on (February 15, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Nope sorry don't see anything in Glne Maxweel. I consider him just another slogger. I think he will do good in T20 cricket and maybe odi cricket but test no way

Posted by blink182alex on (February 15, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

KP has over 20 test match 100's at an average of 50.

Maxwell has slogged a couple of 50's in odi's.

There is no comparison between the two, it's like an English writer saying Samit Patel will be the X Factor in the Ashes.

I predict there will be an X rather than a tick next to Maxwell's name when it comes to the Ashes squad, cos i can't see him contributing much in India.

Posted by MaheshVenkat on (February 15, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

Normally I find Mallet's articles thoughtful. In this, I frankly did not understand his comparison of Maxwell with KP on so many aspects. I would have expected him to compare with other aus candidates and explain why he is (or seems) better. May be everyone is falling for his million.

Posted by smudgeon on (February 15, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Nah, I've given it some thought and while the mantra about playing in India is "play two spinners", I think only Lyon is the only one who deserves a spot. I'd rather see a bowling line-up of Siddle, Pattinson, Starc (with Bird to come in when Patto breaks down!) and Lyon, with Henriques to come in and bat at 6 or 7 depending on what they decide to do with Wade. I agree with Meety, though - it may be too soon for Henriques, but on balance, he is a much better and sounder proposition than going with Doherty or Maxwell. Steve Smith is only supposed to be there as a back-up batsman, so I wouldn't consider him a starter unless one of the top 5 breaks down (ie. Watto). Clarke can always throw down a few if it's a rank turner, but Australia should play to their strengths. If Starc, Patto and Siddle keep to the "pitch-em-up, make-em-play" philosophy, they should do a pretty good job. I wasn't convinced about Starc earlier in the summer, but having seen the lad bowl, I'm a convert! Hilfenwho?

Posted by Adoh on (February 15, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

A little algebra: x=0. Enough said.

Posted by tpjpower on (February 15, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

I don't understand the fuss over Glenn Maxwell. He has scored one very unconvincing, slog-filled fifty in a tiny run-chase, and taken an expensive 4 wicket haul against a batting line-up which has historically struggled against spin (remember too that a tailender smacked him for four consecutive sixes in that game). Besides those performances he really struggled against the Windies. I've yet to see anything which suggests he is up to international standard, yet he comes across on the field as cocky and petulant. Frankly, this guy would have stuggled to make a Shield team in the early 2000s. The fact he's in the Australian Test squad highlights just how far our national team has fallen.

PS: Commentators have been dining out on his 19-ball domestic fifty for far too long; one innings should not a million dollars make.

Posted by Claydo78 on (February 15, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Australia does not need an x factor, we need batsmen that occupy the crease! What saved south africa in the 2nd test? A batsman that can hang around! What makes cook such a great batter? His ability to grind out long innings to put his team a winning position! Besides clarke, no one in the australian batting order can hang around for a big innings and x factor or not maxwell shouldnt be anywhere in the australian test team! What is shield cricket for? Its a competition for players to prove they have the ability to play for the national by scoring runs or taking wickets eg hussey, hayden! Maxwell, smith cummings havent proved anything yet!

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (February 15, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

Maxwell is not ready and wade is not the man at 6, the guy at 6whilst commonly a more junior batsman, should still be someone you can at least envisage anywhere from positions 3 to 6. Wade is competent and deserves respect for centuries already scored, but he's out of place in a key batting role.The "allrounders", give me strength! A real allrounder is up to test standard in both disciplines, but a decent one at least one! Why is there even talk of "the allrounder position", since when was it a requisite in a test team?Cowan to me deserves more respect than afforded in most forums. I see him like Geoff Marsh, someone who ultimately was a rung below the stars that grew around him (Boon, Jones, Waugh, etc), but was important in a tough growth phase. People are obsessed with personal averages, but don't see that he routinely does a fair job of taking the sting off the new ball. Keeps his spot for mine, and Khawaja at 6 and the man best in postition to judge this(Mike Hussey) seems to agre

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

tets match is for specialists and not for bits and pieces. Both Steve Smith and Maxwell are misfits. Remember last time around Cameron White bowling Leg spin ?

Posted by KhanMitch on (February 15, 2013, 3:26 GMT)

Aussie quicks actually do better than spinners(Except Warne) in the sub-continent.Kindly remember Galle(the world's biggest turner) where Aus won with Lyon+3 quicks! Lets frankly agree that we dont have a Swann or a Paneser! We shouldn't play Wade at no.6 not because we need 6 batsman to avoid top order collapses! I am sure Wade has the ability to develop in to one sooner but when compared with our potential no.6s -> Max,Henriques,Smith, he is better. And concerning Khawaja, i stick to my view that he is good against Spin and has improved under boof..Khawaja in the practice game played when the ball was new and was attacking against spin but its his shield innings against spin that have impressed me dancing down the pitch much like Clarke does. The second spinner ofcourse would be the skipper! I believe he can bowl 10 overs per day atlest…the quicks should go with the stump-stump line consistently which would make the batsmen attack Lyon and Clarke, there by giving wickets!

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (February 15, 2013, 2:51 GMT)

Actually Maxwell may well become a good player….but not yet. He's got a lot to learn, and in particular his impetuous style. He seems to me about 2 years short of test standard. Couldn't disagree more with Mallett on Wade and Khawaja, both are much improved in playing spin with Khawaja having excelled against spin in domestic cricket under boof lehman and we will see that in this series. What the likes of Maxwell can learn from Hughes and Khawaja is the art of 'not getting out'. Ideally make him watch old tapes of Mike Hussey or Steve Waugh. Then send him back to the Shield and see how he performs for a season or two. Then, maybe, he could make it as a Test player.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (February 15, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

Completely disagree with Mallett, however i would rather make the mistake of picking Maxwell now and get it over and done with so we don't have him in the ashes. And as for Mallett's comments on Wade and Khawaja not handling spin, it shows how much out of touch he is with shield cricket, both these guys have got plenty of runs against spin bowling, sure Hughes has some work to do but he will get there.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (February 15, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

Is any else sick of hearing about this 'X-factor' that seems to be so desirable? It means nothing to me. I'd rather see Henriques in the team than Maxwell and I disagree that Henriques will only get a shot if they go with Lyon as the sole spinner. Inverarity said that one of the options was to have two spinners (I assume that's why Doherty is there) and a Moises as the bowling allrounder. I think this is a poor article.

Posted by Gizza on (February 15, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

Still haven't seen a lot of Maxwell but surely Michael Clarke himself is a better spinner than Maxwell. Clarke won't bowl himself now that he's the captain and even Lyon isn't amazing. Spin bowling is definitely Australia's Achilles Heel going into the India series. To get 20 wickets, they will need to rely on sheer pace through the air or reverse swing. Conventional swing and short-pitched bowling won't do. India's spinners are also weak with only Ojha having any real talent (although he is more in the Vettori mould of just line and length rather than the best spinners which are both accurate and can give it more of a rip)

Posted by Meety on (February 15, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

@ Chris_P on (February 14, 2013, 12:40 GMT) - my big fear with Henriques is that I think he has been elevated too soon into the Test squad. I'd of loved to see him finish off the Shield summer scoring runs taking wickets (the odd run out from fine leg) & be in contention for the Ashes. IF, he is ready, I feel that he will become a much more valuable player than Watto ever was at Test level. Not sure he is there yet, but who knows this tour could be the making of him?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 0:03 GMT)

Wishful thinking. Maxwell isn't as good as Pietersen and Australia aren't as good as England. Don't expect to win this series.

Posted by CricketFan2011WC on (February 14, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

To be honest, I really doubt he could be any X-factor.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

I at times am amazed by choice of Aussie promotion as a next superstar; first it was C.White who was perhaps perceived to be next Shane Warne then came S.Smith who hardly could do any(bat or bowl) and now Mr.Maxwell... I don't think I shall remember the surname Maxwell for cricket more than for James Maxwell- the scientist.

Posted by xylo on (February 14, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

wow... a part-time bowler is being compared to a specialist bowler. And, how many tests has this guy played so far?

Posted by voma on (February 14, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

Hes done nothing in the game yet , how can he be compared to KP . Ive just checked out his stats , theres nothing there . But i must admit , im looking forward to watching him play in the IPL .

Posted by __PK on (February 14, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Hey Andy Plowright, Rowdy said Pietersen was MENTALLY fragile. And all those great innings you mention merely prove how mentally fragile he is, during his periods of abysmal form and team disharmony. I don't doubt you hope India thrash Australia - it would lend some undeserved credibility to England's recent fortunate series win there.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

With due respect Mr.Mallett, firstly the non-sense about "minefields". There were NO minefields in the England series. Nor were there any when the Australians were here in 1998, 2001, 2004 and then again in 2008, with the exception of Mumbai in 2004. Over that time, Australia lost comprehensively at the Eden at least twice - and Eden Gardens has always been the same wicket, a touch on the slower side but with even bounce. You have to bend your back to get wickets in general in India. Aussies have too often looked for excuses when touring India. Maxwell and Lyon are not going to put the fear of god into any line up, even one that is as mediocre as the current Indian side. If Australia are to win, their pacemen will have to step up and do the job.

Btw, why are some commentators stuck in the '70s? The last unplayable spinner in India was Kumble, and that was the case for a good decade and a half.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

KP fragile? Hysterical.

Mr Mallett, by all means call KP fragile. Until Maxwell has played knocks as good as Pietersen at the Oval in 2005, his century last year against South Africa, and the truly astounding ton against India in the winter just past, I reserve the right to call Glenn Maxwell a over-lauded cricketer, one who proves that the T20 rewards some not particularly great players, and whose elevation to possible Test spinner outright is endemic of the paucity of the Australia cricketing cupboard when it comes to slow bowling.

I hope India trash the Aussies :)

Posted by Chris_P on (February 14, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

@ Thefakebook. Make no mistake, Maxwell will not be delivering those sort of figures. If he can't do it here, how will ever do it overseas? BTW, He is NOT a good enough batter for tests. He is a pure T20 player, he is hyped up, (IMHO) deserves to be. I beieve he will open a few eyes up int he IPL, as an ODI he is hit or miss, but first class & tests? Sorry bud, he doesn't have the form nor figures to justify being in the squad. When he can string some consistent performances, maybe so, but to date he hasn't & from the games I have seen him, he doesn't have that "x" factor to take him to the next level for tests.

Posted by Thefakebook on (February 14, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

OK we all made fun of Maxwell as a test player but Mr Mallet is right if Maxwell bowls a lot of overs and gets 10/15 wickets or more in 4 matches Ozs might have the next big thing in him.I mean he is a good enough batter just needs to give himself those extra 50-60 balls to get in then start to kill their bowling.He can take any attack apart.Now if he really works on his bowling unlike Smith,we will see this youngster play for 10years or more.

Posted by Simoc on (February 14, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

I think the key to doing well in India is hustling as stated and turning the strike over all the time. England eventually discovered that after their pathetic batting display against Pakistan, and Pakistan are doing the same in SA right now. Certainly Lyon is as good a bowler as Ashwin but after that who knows. The Oz batting looks vulnerable minus Ponting & Hussey but this is where we find out how good they are. I'm also picking Maxwell to do well and become a key player. Good article.

Posted by LillianThomson on (February 14, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

1.5 off-spinners and 3 quicks in India?

Australia are going to get battered by a very mediocre Indian team if they field that mix.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

Maxwell is overrated. One first-class hundred, a few List A 50s and an IPL contract. That's not what makes a Test match batsman, really.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 14, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Most overhyped cricketer in the world right now.#enoughsaid

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 14, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

I can't understand how a cricket writer can dedicate a whole article on a guy who is yet to prove his credentials in longer formats and doesn't command respect even from his own countrymen. KP would be seriously offended by this kind of comparisons.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (February 14, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

there is just no comparison between maxwell and a a champ like KP maxwell is overhyped slogger , variation less off-nonspinner and brilliant fielder. On that count he will be a good 12th man

Posted by D-Ascendant on (February 14, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

Why is everyone talking this man up so much? He appears to be a nobody.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (February 14, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Dont live in Australia so dont see Shield cricket these days but have seen nothing from Maxwell that justifies these great hopes and expectations. Maybe Ashley Mallett as a former off-spinner can see things i dont but nothing beyond 'occasional spinner' has leapt out at me from Maxwell. Certainly not as good as Michael Clarke even ....shame he cant bowl more. The jibes at Pietersen are just cheap shots .... if Maxwell turns out half as good as him Australia will be doing very well. As for Lyon, I thought he showed great promise in his first year but something has happened over this summer and he has flat-lined if not gone backwards. That can happen with any inexperienced players development but this is a big tour for him.

Posted by sramesh_74 on (February 14, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

X-Factor would mean Xpensive-Factor especially when it comes to bowling spin in India!! Good luck Max..

Posted by ygkd on (February 14, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

I always think Mallett well worth a read. Not so sure on this one though. Personally, I find some modern players to be less X-factor and more $X?!-factor. If Maxwell can get the ball to buzz and bounce around like he himself seems to, then he will be a force in India. Who knows? He may take a Test bag and then get dumped, like Jason Krejza did. Then again, he may do nothing much and stay in the team.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (February 14, 2013, 7:11 GMT)

May be totally unwarranted to make remarks against KP. I am paying attention to this author name for the first time, he didn't seem too neutral or having a good sense of judgement. "Michael Clarke, whose batting against spin probably has no equal worldwide at the moment.." really? never heard of Kallis or AB? or other players of that caliber for that matter.. It's ok to say Clarke is the best in the Aus team by miles.. and is definitely one of the best in the world at the moment but to say 'no equal' shows a lack of cricketing knowledge and/or articulation. Looks like he desperately wants to sell Clarke and Maxwell...not sure why.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 14, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

@Meety. Couldn't agree with you more. Maxwell's performances a spinner worries me & having seen him operate on the spin friendly SCG track, it worries me further. I think Ashley needs to look at Mo a little more. He is more than medium pace & bowls reverse swing successfully on low bouncing turning tracks. This will be a good learning curve for us, this is the development team we should have taken last time.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 14, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

"India seem almost certain to prepare spin-friendly tracks," - tell me something that I don't know. They will be down to the ground and cry if the curator doesn't provide them with a favorable wicket. So much for their so-called greatness.

Posted by Meety on (February 14, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

@ smudgeon on (February 14, 2013, 4:22 GMT) - top comparison re: Matthews! @John Muzzy - Lyon isn't in Swann's class (yet), but there are some early signs that he isn't far behind. (stats v SA & tests in Oz). @ dariuscorny on (February 14, 2013, 5:45 GMT) - White has been horrendous form for most of the last 3 years (batting) & rarely bowls much these days.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

not sure why is so much fuss bout him.. this summer he only scored in one match where target is very small. moreover his was just trying to hit the ball everywhere so half the ball''s were missed n other went through edges if doesnt connect the middle.. didnt scored anything after that match.. While he was bowling even Narian scored 4 sixes in 4 balls n we are compairing him to good spinners.. only can laugh on this artical..

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 14, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

your right John Muzzy - Lyon is nowhere near the league of Swann, you only have to look at recent series against the worlds best South Africa to prove it wait Swann averaged 77 for his 4 wickets and Lyon averaged 37 for his 16 wickets. I agree Swann is better at the moment than Lyon but what has been los t in this argument is Swann is a good player but no superstar. Lyon is not that far behind him. All the English want to pump Swann up as the greatest off-spinner of all time however he is not even the best current off-spinner that would be Ajmal.

Posted by rienzied on (February 14, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

I am truly amazed the way he is being talked up, I've watched him here and he has so much more to learn and more so prove himself ...test cricket... I feel like Steve smith , I don't see him doing well for now

Posted by dariuscorny on (February 14, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

Zimbabwe's Elton Chigumbura is way better than Maxwell.its funny to read Pieterson being compared with Maxwell.it has become Aussie habit of comparing their ordinary players with some talented ones specially after their legends retired and they were left with no talent.....they shud hv tried cameron white rather than trying maxwell,who is potentially more capable than Maxwell

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Ground control to Ashley Mallett. Hello. Lyon and Maxwell 'aren't quite in the Graeme Swann class'. How about, Lyon isn't yet remotely close to Graeme Swann class and Maxwell is an allrounder and has played barely any first class cricket. To highlight the ridiculousness of this statement, here's a fast bowling comparison example. 'Moises Henriques isn't quite Dale Steyn class'. See what I mean. Maxwell seems like a great competitor and may develop into a good batsmen and ok bowler but he has no pedigree whatsoever to warrant inclusion in the test team at this point in time.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

Most overhyped cricketer in the world right now.

Posted by SpacemanSpiff on (February 14, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

Clearly, you don't like Pietersen. But Maxwell can only hope to be half as effective as KP.

Posted by dinosaurus on (February 14, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

Ashley Mallett has certainly made a bold prediction. Now, IF it comes off, it will show for sure that there are those who base their analysis on what they and they friends would like to hear rather than on any ability to judge the relative worth of players. From the moment I heard that Maxwell's off-breaks buzz their way down to the batsman I've been prepared to accept that the selectors may well be right! As a batsman I've faced spinners who do that, and spinners who don't, and there IS a difference

Posted by smudgeon on (February 14, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

The description sounds a little more sound if you compare Maxwell with a similarly confident batsman/off-spinner in Greg Matthews. If he can put together a game in India half as good as Greg did in the tied Test, he'll have done alright.

Posted by bookie7600 on (February 14, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

LOL Maxwell is being compared to Pieterson now! I used to read all Ashley Mallet articles but will have to start ignoring 'em now. What a waste of my time that was !

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

Maxwell Vs Peterson? You being hilarious or what?

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    Well worth the wait (36)

    Zulfiqar Babar missed five seasons between his first two first-class matches, and was 34 when he finally made his Test debut, but he is quickly making up for all the lost time with his artful left-arm spin