With the plight of Australia’s batsmen in the current Ashes having opened the window for the next tier of hopefuls, the name ‘Glenn Maxwell’ has again been thrown into the mix by his current coach at Yorkshire, Jason Gillespie.
Maxwell is in the United Kingdom attempting to increase his exposure to red-ball cricket – an international scheduling situation he has discussed in the past as problematic for his Test cricket aspirations.
The Victorian was a standout for Australia in their successful World Cup campaign earlier this year and his array of unorthodox strokeplay makes him a match-winner and entertainer in the 20-over game, however his success in limited-overs formats have been prohibitive to his first-class opportunities; Maxwell has played just 34 first-class matches since debuting in the Bupa Sheffield Shield in February 2011.
“Young players, with the help of those running the game, are going to take a long-term view and identify periods when they can increase their exposure to red-ball cricket both at home and abroad,” wrote Jason Gillespie in his column with UK newspaper The Guardian.
“Glenn Maxwell is a good example of a player looking to do this and is another who will be pushing for a Test recall down the line if he continues on his current path.
“‘Maxi’ has come to Yorkshire this season and has at times played second XI cricket because he is determined to improve his skills.
“Sure, he can attract well-paid Twenty20 deals but he is not just thinking about this – he wants to excel in all formats.
“More power to young cricketers who want to do the same.
“Play as much first-class cricket as you can, learn how to adapt to different conditions and score the runs that, like Mike Hussey back in 2005, means the national side cannot overlook you.”
Australia tour Bangladesh at the conclusion of the limited-overs section of the Qantas Tour of the British Isles, and a host of batsmen are in contention to fill positions that will be vacated by Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Shaun Marsh and Adam Voges.
An Australia A team, of which Maxwell was going to be a member until he signed on to play first-class cricket with Yorkshire, is currently plying its trade in India, with the likes of Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns impressing.
Maxwell recently posted his fifth first class century, a match-winning 140 from just 144 deliveries for Yorkshire.
It pushed the 26-year-old’s career average to a tick above 40 and could be a significant first step to him adding to his two Test match appearances, the most recent of which came in Baggy Green in the UAE last November.
“I’m trying to do everything I can to face more red-ball … so (the Yorkshire signing) will hopefully help with English county cricket and hopefully open a little back door to red-ball cricket during the off-season,” Maxwell told cricket.com.au in January.
“I find red ball cricket is still comfortably my best format.
“I find I’ve got so much more time, I’m so much more comfortable playing that especially with my bowling and my batting.
“It’s just a matter of getting opportunities and I just haven’t had any opportunities over the last 12 months.”