Glenn Maxwell will soon find out how far he has slipped off the ODI radar of Australia's selectors after Chris Lynn was ruled out of the series against England due to a calf strain suffered in the Big Bash League.
Having only recently returned to cricket and still affected by shoulder problems, Lynn replaced Maxwell in the squad after the Victorian had offered up diminishing returns in recent appearances for the national team. He was also chided by the national captain Steven Smith on the basis that he needs to "train smarter" to more consistently play long innings.
"He could train a little bit smarter," Smith had said. "We've all seen the way he can come out and play and do all his funky stuff and be pretty cool with that. But when he puts his head down he's actually a really good batsman, as we've seen in Shield cricket. If he keeps his head switched on and trains really well and focuses on basic things, probably more than the expansive things, then I think that will help him have his consistency."
Numerous figures, including the Brisbane Heat captain Brendon McCullum, expressed surprise that Lynn had been recalled so swiftly in a format he no longer plays for Queensland, but the calf injury has now made the debate moot, and left open the question of whether Maxwell will be reprieved. He was most recently part of an Australia squad when flown into Brisbane as cover for Shaun Marsh ahead of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
"It is annoying and I'm very disappointed to miss an opportunity with the ODI side, but I know it is minor in the scheme of things," Lynn said. "I have been working very hard to get myself right, and the positive thing is that my shoulder is feeling very good. I'll do the work again and I am confident I will give myself a shot at playing some good cricket again soon."
Lynn's recent injury history has not suggested permanence, and the latest setback is expected to keep him out of action for up to a month. He may still be fit in time to return for Australia's Twenty20 triangular series against England and New Zealand, which takes place in February immediately before a Test tour of South Africa, but will need to play at a lower level beforehand.
"Chris initially left the field against the Scorchers complaining of tightness in his calf," CA's head of sports science Alex Kountouris said. "He reported increasing discomfort over the 24 hours that followed and the Heat's medical staff made the decision to send him for a scan. That scan confirmed the injury, which is expected to prevent him from playing for three to four weeks.
"When Chris recovers, the expectation is that he will need to prove his fitness in match action before being considered again for international selection."