Glenn Maxwell has arrived as a Test batsman, but can he stay?

David Lord Columnist

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    It’s been fascinating reading and watching the reactions to Glenn Maxwell’s first Test ton.

    The reports and comments have ranged from “I told you so”. to the arrival of another Messiah, and he’s cemented his berth in the Ashes campaign next Australian summer.

    Maxwell now has an international century in all three formats.

    Yesterday he became the 13th to achieve the feat, joining the likes of Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Mahaela Jayawardene, Faf du Plessis, and Shane Watson.

    Let’s compare the trio of Maxwell tons.

    His first was a ODI 102 against Sri Lanka at the SCG in 2015 in his cowboy days that included 10 fours and four sixes, facing just 53 deliveries.

    His second was a blistering unbeaten 145 in a T20 clash with Sri Lanka at Pallekele last year, with 14 fours and nine sixes of just 65 deliveries. Another cowboy innings.

    But his best international century by the length of the straight was this innings of 104, at Ranchi. The knock came from 185 deliveries, with only nine fours, and a couple of sixes.

    It was an innings of pure quality with plenty of dedication and patience in a record fifth wicket stand of 191 against India, in India, with his skipper Steve Smith.

    Will the 28-year-old realise that the Test ton was exactly what the Australian side needs at six?

    There’s no room for a hit and miss cowboy wearing a baggy green cap.

    And I hasten to add there’s no reason why Maxwell can’t still be the entertainer, or the Big Show, in limited overs formats by utilising his tremendous power and precision more intelligently.

    He was there for the long haul at Ranchi, but when he played the big shots his head and feet were in position, with no windy woofs, they were all clean strikes.

    There’s a long and fruitful future playing every ball on its merits, and leaving the low percentage trick shot reverse sweeps and ramps in the shed.

    He’s rated as an all-rounder, but his offies have yet to surface at Ranchi.

    Don’t expect any heroics with the ball, especially as Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon are the senior spinners.

    Australia's Steve O'Keefe celebrates the dismissal of India's Ajinkya Rahane

    They’ve already bowled 21 cheap overs between them, and are likely to bowl a whole lot more before Steve Smith calls on Maxwell.

    In the meantime Maxwell can save plenty of runs in the field and force the odd run out, as consistently one of the world’s best fieldsmen.

    But if he gets the chance at Ranchi, hopefully he’ll bowl darts from around the wicket as he’s likely to extract more lift than either O’Keefe, or Lyon.

    And if adrenaline is required, Maxwell must surely have that asset freely flowing through his veins after the innings of his life.

    Let’s see how it all pans out.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles