Glenn Maxwell says batting, not bowling, will be key to Test recall bid

Maxwell gestures to the crowd during the World Cup match between Australia and Sri Lanka. Photo: Mark KolbeGlenn Maxwell accepts his prospects of returning to the Test team are hindered by his off-spin bowling not suiting selectors’ priorities for an all-rounder.
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The Victorian also said his poor start to the season, which included being dropped for one Matador Cup match for missing a training session, was because he was temporarily overwhelmed by his disappointment at missing the chance to revive his Test career in Bangladesh.

“It probably affected me more mentally than anything else,” Maxwell said of being selected in Australia’s squad for Bangladesh, but not being able to fulfil that because the tour was indefinitely postponed due to security concerns.

“I was pretty upset I was missing out on an opportunity to play for my country and really put a good step forward. After playing so well in the [post-Ashes] one-dayers in England I was really looking forward to taking that into the Tests, to have that series ripped away from me and the squad to change when we got back to Australia was pretty upsetting.

“It probably affected me too much, because it affected the way I played the game and the way I went about it. It didn’t reflect too well on myself … and it showed in my results as well.”

Maxwell had planned to rest during winter, excepting a Twenty20 stint for Yorkshire, but relented and played county cricket too because he wanted to focus on getting a Test chance in Bangladesh and making the most of it.

“I think it was because all the work I did in England … just felt null and void when the series ended up getting cancelled. It was pretty upsetting, because I felt like that whole winter was almost a bit of a waste. Looking back now, it’s never a waste of time,” he said.

“Since the [Sheffield] Shield stuff has started I’ve tried to put that all behind me … almost start from the bottom rung and work my way back up.”

Victoria’s success with the bat, and the positioning of Maxwell generally at No.6, has restricted his opportunities. The only time he has had a long stint at the crease came when he made 98 at home to Western Australia last month.

Even though Maxwell is pleased with the way he is bowling, he said he considered himself to be “a long way off as far as Test selection goes” for home series.

“I’m pretty understanding of where I sit in the Test rankings,” he said

“I’ve probably got to bowl some medium pace for a start, and probably spin the ball the other way to Nathan Lyon [to be considered as a Test all-rounder].”

“I know if I come in and spin the ball the same way as Nathan Lyon it’s … more likely I’ll be used to get through some handy overs, rather than be a key bowler. I’m understanding that I need to have a weight of runs and consistent wicket-taking, as a partnership-breaker type of bowler.”

Maxwell’s only three Tests have all come abroad: two in India in 2013 and one last year against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

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