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Maxwell faces big Australian Test chance

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    Uncapped duo Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques and fellow allrounder Steve Smith face a potentially career-defining moment in Australia’s opening two-day tour game starting on Tuesday in Chennai.

    The sudden retirement of middle-order batting great Mike Hussey and star allrounder Shane Watson’s decision to play as a batsman-only in the first Test against India on February 22 have created a massive opportunity for off-spinner Maxwell, leg-spinner Smith or seamer Henriques to grab the No.7 batting slot.

    National coach and selector Mickey Arthur has already indicated wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is being considered for a promotion to No.6 with an all-rounder to follow then four specialist bowlers.

    “With two tour games (February 12-13 and 16-18), it’s an opportunity for someone to score runs and take wickets,” Australian opening batsman Ed Cowan said on Sunday in Chennai.

    “I’m sure whoever manages to do that of that three (will be a big chance to play).

    “I don’t think there’s a clear standout.

    “The hand has been shown a little bit with Shane Watson only wanting to bat – there is a need for an all-rounder.

    “Whether that’s a spinning all-rounder or a medium-pace allrounder is one dictated by the conditions they think they’ll face but, two, dictated by form.”

    Cowan says NSW pair Henriques and Smith and Victoria’s Maxwell are all super-talented players but they lack consistency.

    All three have international experience in limited-overs cricket.

    “There are three guys who can provide two options with bat and ball,” Cowan said.

    “We’ve seen how good each of them can be in patches but it’s just that consistent effort that you get from guys who get to know their game.

    “They’re young guys and their consistency will come.

    “It’s exciting to see guys at the start of their career.”

    Maxwell is the highest-profile player of the trio after landing a $1 million deal at last Sunday’s Indian Premier League auction when he was snapped up by Mumbai Indians.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (88)

    • February 11th 2013 @ 9:47am
      formeropenside said | February 11th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

      Whoever wins a test spot out of those three, Australian cricket loses.

      • February 11th 2013 @ 9:54am
        Pope Paul VII said | February 11th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report


    • February 11th 2013 @ 9:52am
      Red Kev said | February 11th 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      Most news outlets reporting it is a done deal that Australia will play Wade at 6 and one of these muppets at 7. So guess who will miss out?

      • February 11th 2013 @ 10:25am
        Rob Barrow said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        Red Kev i know you are alluding that Khawaja will miss out but i am not sure, i think it will come down to the warm up games and if Khawaja scores there we will pick him as Cowan is under serious pressure from Watto. No doubt for me that Watto should open and Khawaja should be at 4.

      • February 11th 2013 @ 11:14am
        Disco said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        Khawaja will miss out. Maxwell is a farce of a Test cricketer.

        • February 11th 2013 @ 12:25pm
          Varun said | February 11th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          I don’t think khawaja will miss out, he will out perform Cowan in the warm up games and will bat at 4 which will allow Watson to open

          • February 11th 2013 @ 1:36pm
            Brian said | February 11th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            I tip Khawaja will outperform Cowan in the warm up games and then Khawaja will miss out

            • February 11th 2013 @ 1:51pm
              Disco said | February 11th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

              Indeed. Khawaja should not have missed out against India last summer, but it still happened.

              • February 11th 2013 @ 2:48pm
                Sanjay said | February 11th 2013 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                Guys agree with you that Khawaja should outperform Cowan but the selectors will get him in, Inevarity said that he is a very good chance for the first test.

        • February 11th 2013 @ 11:21pm
          Just Short of a Length said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:21pm | ! Report

          Easy on about Maxwell, he’s the most graceful cricketer to ever pick up a shovel and play international cricket, I’m sure all that technique will help him bat out a full day of test cricket

    • February 11th 2013 @ 10:05am
      jameswm said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      I could have told you that. The first couple of tour games will be a play-off between Maxwell and Henriques. I don’t think Smith’s int he mix for that no.7 spot because he’s not bowling enough.

      To a lesser extent, it’ll also be a playoff between Cowan and Khawaja, and also between a few of the quicks. Siddle will be one, but they may play a total of 2 or 3 quicks, so you have Pattinson, Bird and Starc fighting for 1-2 spots. Even Johno bowled pretty well last night, and even his biggest critics have to admit he’s in a lot better shape physically and mentally than he was a year ago. He seems to bowl less of the cracker balls, but most of the tripe is gone too.

      • February 11th 2013 @ 10:46am
        Red Kev said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        It is no secret that I’m no Johnson fan (tattooed tosser that he is), but he has been bowling well since his recall to the national set up. Johnson is no longer tearing though batting lineups but instead of bowling tripe while waiting for that magic spell he is bowling good deliveries.
        He appears to have more control than Starc. It is almost as if Starc is where Johnson used to be – capable of destroying lineups but also bowling a lot of loose stuff.
        Given that when you look at our bowlers they are light on test experience Bird (2), Pattinson (7), Starc (7) it seems likely that Johnson (50) will play at least a couple of tests in India.

        • February 11th 2013 @ 11:05am
          jameswm said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          I think Starc’s got better control now than Johnson did at his nadir.

          I also think Starc when on fire is more dangerous than Johnson ever was. And Starc is on fire more often.

          • February 11th 2013 @ 11:33am
            Disco said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

            Yes, I agree Starc’s more dangerous.With bat as well as ball in hand.

            And Johnson does still bowl some tripe.

            • February 11th 2013 @ 11:36am
              Red Kev said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

              Not much, and far less than Starc
              He is still the 5th or 6th paceman in my opinion, but you can’t deny that he is playing well. He’ll probably get replaced by Cummins in a few years if the young man can sort out his injuries, but for now I don’t mind Johnson.

              • February 11th 2013 @ 11:45am
                jameswm said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

                You know I watched a bit of the Poms playing a T20 agaist the Kiwis on the weekend. Finn and Broad were playing for the Poms. For all the talk about swing bowling, they both seem more hit the deck type bowlers. And why all the fanfare about Finn? He was good – pretty tall, decent pace, but not hugely impressive.

                SA have a far better bowling lineup for mine. And I can certainly see Pattinson< Siddle, Bird, Starc and even Johnson being the equal of anything the Poms can throw at us.

                Top order and spinners is where we could struggle. If Clarke bats 5, Watson 6 and Wade 7, our middle order is better. Having said that I'd bat Clarke at 4 and I don't know that I'd have Wade keeping.

                No one mentioning Fawad yet as a spinning option? He's a good bowler. Has he played any Shield games for the Vics yet?

              • February 11th 2013 @ 11:53am
                Red Kev said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                If you want to evaluate bowlers as test match threats you don’t watch T20.
                SA bowl only one of Philander, Steyn and Morkel in any given T20 match.

              • February 11th 2013 @ 12:15pm
                jameswm said | February 11th 2013 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

                I realise that, but if Starc played a T20 you’d be able to see how he could be a test match threat.

              • February 11th 2013 @ 1:52pm
                Disco said | February 11th 2013 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                I think you’re underrating the English seamers somewhat – although, sure, South Africa has a better attack in Steyn, Philander, Morkel and Kallis.

                And let’s focus on Tests, shall we? Hit and giggle doesn’t mean much.

                Finn is much more proven than, say, Pattinson.

                Anderson is a far better bowler than any of the Aussies.

                Broad, although he’s struggled with injury and form of late, is relatively experienced and has Ashes success to draw on.

                None of them have the demons Johnson will have to confront.

                Outside of Anderson, Broad and Finn, I rate Onions very highly, especially in English conditions. Whether he’ll get m chance is another matter. The likes of Woakes and Harris could possibly feature. I don’t imagine Tremlett will be fit enough, whilst Bresnan needs to sort his form and fitness out.

      • February 11th 2013 @ 9:12pm
        Rob Barrow said | February 11th 2013 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

        I strongly feel Watson can be Australia’s opener in tests no matter he bowls of not. Gives him a chance to go back to opeing Can think of bigger role as bowler. . As he was a opener, he can also build innings of in crisis.. With Australia having Warner and Watson who can open, it just makes Khawaja’s move to 4 easier. Warner, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques, Wade and 4 bowlers. Let us leave alone the averages and all the stuffs. Had stats as opener been used as yardstick to pick opener, not many would have opened in international cricket. Likes of Sehwag, Sachin, Sanath, Gilchrist were never openers in their domestic team

    • February 11th 2013 @ 10:14am
      Pope Paul VII said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      Maybe Smithy is in career defining territory, the other two, hardly. They can’t lose, even though Australia can as FOS beautifully put it.

      Even then Smith is only mid 20s and has been selected as a batsman reserve, so he has to behind UTK at this point, although no one is ever behind him.

      But the deal is done, One of Mad Maxy or Moises will play.

      • February 11th 2013 @ 12:27pm
        Varun said | February 11th 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

        Yes you are right, smith is behind UTK so the all rounder fight will be between Maxwrll and Henriques

    • February 11th 2013 @ 10:21am
      Brendon said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      I’d like someone to ask Maxwell, why on the last ball of the one dayer just after Clarke got out, when he only needed one run could he not play something like a cover drive, maybe a cut shot, or a pull shot, a hook shot possibly… know, an actual cricket shot instead of just playing something that resembled a baseball shot/slog. I’m not sure he can play cricket shots, he looks like he has a decent eye, but why not try something classy instead of just being a slugger?

      Is this the way cricket is going, is he the future template for cricketers now? I saw Voges last night and he looked like a good technical player, Bailey can play a lot of shots yet we have Maxwell and Smith on the Indian tour. Seeing the perfect cover drive is one of the best things about cricket, is it going the way of the dinosaur?

      Was interesting to hear Mike Hussey talking about earning your spot in the commentary box last night, appears he’s not a fan of the current CA policy. Would be interesting to know how many players actually played for Oz this year in all forms, anyone know exactly?

      • February 11th 2013 @ 10:28am
        Rob Barrow said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        Mike Hussey knows that selectors have kicked D Huss out so Maxwell can get a go. I am not sure Maxwell is ready for test cricket, neither his batting or. bowling is good enough for test but he is a good T20 player. I am hoping this will be our lineup for the first test. Watson, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Wade, Henriques, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon.

        • February 11th 2013 @ 2:49pm
          Sanjay said | February 11th 2013 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

          Well said Rob

    • February 11th 2013 @ 10:25am
      Bearfax said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      Khawaja has two matches (hopefully they’ll select him for both) to prove his worth. The conditions are ideal for him but he must score big like Hughes did to get a spot. Playing Wade at No 6 is a big mistake unless the only all rounder with creditable batting averages , Steve Smith, is there. But I think he’s third in line in the all rounders so I see Australia’s batting line up significantly weakened. Even when Australia had Gilchrist as wicket keeper, he almost always batted No 7, and that was with a far stronger batting line up. Wade is a good batsman but he’s no Gilchrist, so bringing him back to 6 when Australia has a weaker batting line up makes absolutely no sense. This is especially the case if Maxwell or to a lesser extent Henriques is selected. Both are fragile with the bat and I doubt that their bowling will have much impact against the Indians. But Australia has not brought over enough batting strength and the thought that Khawaja is likely to miss out for Cowen, if Watson is given opening rights, is just too ordinary to consider. Best that I can see is regretably

      Bird (or Doherty)
      Johnson (12th)

      • February 11th 2013 @ 11:09am
        jameswm said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:09am | ! Report

        “Wade is a good batsman but he’s no Gilchrist”

        Bearfax, you’d get almost universal support for this statement.

        However, Gilly ended up with a test average of about 51. Wade averages around 43, on the up. Wade is a good batsman, as you say.

        I just wish he was a better keeper or could improve. I’m not sure he can. However I don’t think it’d be impossible for him to have a test batting average of high 40s in 18 months.

        • February 11th 2013 @ 11:13am
          formeropenside said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          But if his keeping does not improve, he should not get 18 months to improve his batting average.

          • February 11th 2013 @ 11:34am
            jameswm said | February 11th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            True. It’s a tough one there.

            His glovework remains what I would describe as unrefined or messy. He is not neat or unobtrusive, like the better ones.

            I guess he should improve as he works more, but what has he been doing for the last couple of years?

            If his glovework doesn’t improve, he loses the keeper spot. He then either gets dumpedout of the team or, if he’s one of the best 6 test batsmen in the country, he plays as a specialist batsman.

            • February 11th 2013 @ 9:16pm
              Rob from Brumby Country said | February 11th 2013 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

              Hard not to consider Wade’s batting amongst the top six in the country when his Test average is higher than the Shield averages of most of his ‘contenders’…

      • February 11th 2013 @ 9:16pm
        Rob Barrow said | February 11th 2013 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

        BearBass i think you will find that Khawaja will outscore Cowan in the warm up matches and will get the spot in the first test. I like the feel of the batting lineup alot more with Watson and Warner at the top and Khawaja at 6. Cowan had 13 tests but he hasn’t proven himself.

        • February 12th 2013 @ 7:16am
          Bearfax said | February 12th 2013 @ 7:16am | ! Report

          Ah Barrowman. The confidence of fandom. Were it so simple. I hope your sentiments are justified

      • February 11th 2013 @ 10:52pm
        Sanjay said | February 11th 2013 @ 10:52pm | ! Report

        Bearfax couln’t agree with you more bud. We just lost our best batsman in Mike Hussey so how does it make sense to replace him with a keeper at 6 and half baked allrounders at 7. What you need is a solid batsman such as Khawaja or Ferguson(who should hvae been in the squad) at 6. My pick would be Khawaja, this would allow Cowan to prove his worth in the India series but i don’t think he will. Hopefully we go with the team you have listed as it gives us the best chance to win but i think we won’t and will have to learn the hard way that we can’t have wade batting at 6.

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