Glenn Maxwell’s return to Test fold faces tricky roadblock
Glenn Maxwell (AFP Image)

Glenn Maxwell’s return to Australia’s Test set-up seems to have hit a new barrier. The 30-year-old, who was dropped from the Test fold before Australia’s two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, was banking of playing the JLT Sheffield Shield for Victoria to boost his chances of a Test recall ahead of the marquee series against India starting December 6, but being part of Australia T20 squad for two matches against South Africa and another three games against India will cause Maxwell to miss the first game against Tasmania.

Maxwell should return in time to play the next two games, but by then, in all probability, Australia’s Test squad will be named. Struggling to switch between formats, Maxwell will be left with no chance to push his case for the Tests against India.

“It’s a broken sort of start to the season,” Maxwell told Radio Station SEN. “You get flown here, there and everywhere and changing formats and then as soon as these four T20s are done you’re back into Shield cricket and trying to put your name back up for Test selection. I’ve been working on different things to what I had been during the JLT Cup period. Heading straight into the T20s over in Dubai, I was working on a lot of power hitting and trying to clear the rope.

“Then get back into the one-day stuff and went back to technique stuff and then working on that and now all of a sudden we’re back into T20 stuff. As you feel like you’re about to make breakthroughs and you’re starting to work it out, you change format again and you can change position in the team. That can be very frustrating. The opportunity and the game situation drives how you play as well. It’s been a little bit frustrating. Not winning consistently is frustrating as well.”

To make matters worse for him, Maxwell hasn’t been in the best of forms either. Since scoring his maiden ODI century against Sri Lanka at the 2015 World Cup, Maxwell, 35 ODI innings since, has passed 50 just once in the past 22 months. This, as per captain Aaron Finch has led to his shuffling up and down the order and a change in role. Maxwell, however, pointed out that earning a Test berth is not something he’s constantly focussed on throughout his career.

“It’s probably not at the forefront of my mind – I’m not pencilling my name in for that first Test side,” Maxwell added. “A lot’s going to have to go right, opportunity-wise – batting in the middle order in T20s, you’re basically just waiting on what happens above to see what effect you can possibly have on the game.

“The Shield stuff – hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to bat a long period of time and get a big number on the board. That’s what I’m thinking going forward. Hopefully if things go my way, I can be there.”