Brad Hodge cricket Australia
Brad Hodge © Getty Images (file photo)

Glenn Maxwell‘s omission from the Test squad for Australia‘s upcoming tour of UAE, to play Pakistan, has taken several former cricketers — including Ricky Ponting and Darren Lehmann — aback. In an interview with Macquarie Sports Radio, Brad Hodge voiced his surprise as well: “It is disappointing … for Maxwell to be out of the side. Unfortunately for Maxi, he probably hasn’t been given an extended run or a great opportunity.”

Hodge is keen on having Maxwell as a regular feature in the Test XI: “He’s a cricketer you want in your side. He bats, bowls and fields and he’s a good team man.” Maxwell’s off-breaks could have come handy on the typically dry UAE pitches.

Hodge himself had received some rough treatment in the hands of selectors. He got to play only six Tests despite scoring 503 runs at 56. This included the 2005-06 series against South Africa, where he got 308 runs at 77 including a rapid double-hundred at Perth. To be fair, however, Hodge’s career clashed when Australia were at their peak, placing a claim as the greatest side of all time.

Despite that, however, Hodge empathised with the challenge the selectors face: “It just goes to show that it’s a hard hole to fill even when you’re even missing [Steven] Smith and [David] Warner.”