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Is Glenn Maxwell wasting his time in whites?

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Roar Guru
12th March, 2019
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1504 Reads

Despite being constantly overlooked for Test selection, Glenn Maxwell is still pushing for an Ashes spot, having opted to play county cricket instead of the IPL this year.

But is he wasting his time?

There have been plenty of occasions where Maxwell has seen far less-deserving players picked.

There was the 2016 tour of Sri Lanka, where Moises Henriques and Mitch Marsh were selected, even though Marsh was out of form and Henriques had averaged 15 the previous Shield season, as opposed to Maxwell’s 56 that season.

Then, for the 2017 tour of India, Marsh was again out of form and not at full fitness but selected for the first two Tests, with Maxwell running drinks. He only got a game after Marsh broke down.

For the 2017 Ashes, Shaun Marsh was selected, even though Maxwell was the incumbent, had scored a Test century three games earlier, and had a slightly higher Shield average than the older Marsh when the team was picked (40 vs 39).

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When Peter Handscomb fell out of form, Mitch Marsh was his replacement, because he bowls medium pace – although Maxwell’s a better batsman.

Yes, the Marsh brothers were excellent in the Ashes, their form since, abysmal, and both have been dropped.

Handscomb was picked as the reserve batsman for the 2018 tour of South Africa, rather than Maxwell who was averaging 56 in the Shield.

Although none of these decisions are as ridiculous as the decision to leave Maxwell out of the squad for the series against Pakistan, the most bizarre part was the players who were selected ahead of him – Aaron Finch was picked off T20 form and then there was Marnus Labuschagne.

Labuschagne made a 50 for Australia A, but he followed it with a pair in the second Australia A game, yet was rewarded with a Test call-up. He averages 33 in first-class cricket and shouldn’t even be in the discussion to wear the baggy green.

Marnus Labuschagne

Marnus Labuschagne (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Maxwell was again overlooked for the India series, the selectors instead going with Labuschagne for the Sydney Test because of the latter’s spin bowling.

While Maxwell was still ignored for the Sri Lanka series, at least on that occasion Joe Burns and Kurtis Patterson actually had good domestic form and deserved their call ups – although Labuschagne was still there.

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At what point should Maxwell quit first-class cricket and go on the T20 circuit?

Most T20 teams have had to opt for retired players like Shane Watson, AB De Villiers and Brendon McCullam as their marquee men. The signature of Maxwell would be a much bigger prize.

He would be any T20 team’s prized recruit and would most likely be their highest paid player.

And with plenty of leagues to play in, Maxwell could probably spend the next decade playing T20 all around the world and earn a significant amount of money.

It would be a tremendous shame, but given Glenn Maxwell’s treatment by the Australian selectors, could you really blame him?