Australia allrounder Glenn Maxwell has altered his bowling technique, shortening his delivery stride to generate more dip and drift, ahead of the tour of Bangladesh. He has done so in a bid to strengthen his case as the squad's fourth genuine spin-bowling option, behind Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar.
"I've shortened my bowling stride a little bit to make sure that I've got that drop on the ball and that I'm getting the shape that I actually want," Maxwell said at Australia's training camp in Darwin. "It's obviously one of my skills that I can bring to the side, and something that's going to help me try and nail down that No. 6 position, having that extra string to my bow."
Maxwell is Australia's incumbent No. 6 after his comeback century against India in Ranchi in March - his first Test since 2014. However, Maxwell bowled just six overs in two Tests on spin-conducive surfaces in that series.
"I could understand why I wasn't bowling at certain stages," Maxwell said. "I suppose coming into this tour, I'm hoping that I can show that I've put a lot of work into my bowling and I can get that opportunity."
Australia are likely to go in with two specialist spinners and Maxwell, but could consider the option of three genuine spinners if the pitches favour spin from the outset. To open that spot, Maxwell's Victorian team-mate Peter Handscomb could be asked to keep wicket. Matthew Wade is the designated wicketkeeper in Australia's squad for Bangladesh.
"I guess it's an interesting one. I was doing some white-ball keeping for Yorkshire in England as well," Handscomb said. "Ultimately I'm happy to do it if it's good for team balance, if it opens up another position for a batter or a bowler to come into the side. But first and foremost I've always said that batting is my No.1."
In the tour of India earlier this year, Handscomb scored 198 runs in four Tests at an average of 28.28, including a match-saving 72 not out in the third Test in Ranchi. "I felt really good in India, obviously, like I said, getting starts, getting into the game, and then just not converting as many times as I would have hoped to."