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There’s no argument Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are blessed with tremendous natural batting ability.
So why do they both butcher that talent so often in every format they play on the international circuit?
The answer rests in the 16cms between their ears.
The proof is in cold hard stats.
Maxwell has taken guard 146 times in Tests (14), ODIs (81), and T20Is (51), for four centuries, and 21 half-centuries.
Stoinis has batted 36 times in ODIs (24), and T20Is (12), for one ton, and five half-centuries.
These results are both way below expectations and a tragic waste of talent. They are selling themselves and their country short.
But it’s not too late for Maxwell at 30 and Stoinis (29) to realise their real potential to play important roles in the Ashes series in England, starting August 1 at Edgbaston.
There are four more Sheffield Shield rounds, starting February 23, with Maxwell’s Vics clear leaders on the table.
They clash with Queensland, NSW twice, and South Australia before the final on March 24.
As for Stoinis’ Western Australia, they play NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland.
There could be as many as ten digs in store for each to cement a berth in the Ashes squad. They must make the most of proving to the selectors, and the fans, they are responsible batsmen, not just “maybe” entertainers.
It seems they can’t make the transition on their own, so turn to Novak Djokovic, Justin Rose, and Tom Brady for the ultimate proof.
Grab a copy of the Australian Open final, and spend the next two hours and four minutes watching world number one Djokovic decimate world number two Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 6-3.
Nobody could possibly have predicted such one-way traffic, but the Serb made full use of his talent to crush the Spaniard, who had never been beaten in straight sets in a Slam final.
The vital stats were awesome:
Djokovic 34 winners, with only nine unforced errors – Nadal 21-28.
Break point conversions – Djokovic five of eight, Nadal zero of one.
Total points won – Djokovic 89, Nadal 53.
Then pick up footage of world number one golfer Justin Rose winning the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines by two shots over Adam Scott, and ten over Tiger Woods, who has won this tournament eight times.
It wasn’t the win that caught the attention, it was a new set of another brand of clubs, including the putter, that would normally take weeks, even months, to get used to – but not Justin Rose.
He dusted Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau and Patrick Reed as well.
“When you beat a class field on a great venue that satisfies you as a player – it’s a win-and-a-half mentally,” was Rose’s explanation.
And for a third inspiration tune in next weekend for the Super Bowl, and the ninth appearance of New England Patriots quarterback legend Tom Brady.
At 41 he’s set enough records to fill a book.
Five-time Super Bowl champion, four-time MVP, three-time NFL most valuable player, and 70,514 career yards passing for the Patriots – just some of his all-time records.
Asked about the chances of this Super Bowl being his last game?
“Zero,” he answered. It said it all.
So if Glenn Maxwell, and Marcus Stoinis, can’t get the message of how to make the most of their natural ability from Novak Djokovic, Justin Rose, and Tom Brady, they are a lost cause.