Maxwell 'easily' good enough for Tests: AB
Legendary former skipper believes Victorian presents attractive all-round option for new coach Justin Langer
18 May 2018, 03:12 PM AEST
Former national captain Allan Border believes there is a "compelling argument" for Glenn Maxwell to be considered for a recall to a Test team in a state of flux under new coach Justin Langer.
Maxwell was dropped for last summer's Ashes series despite producing the most impressive set of showings in his four stints in Test cricket to date: 259 runs at 37 from eight innings, including a maiden century in India.
Prior to that, the right-hander had played three Tests, all in Asia, none of which had come consecutively.
A magnificent 278 in the Sheffield Shield came as Australia was playing the first Test against England in Brisbane, and was the most impressive innings during a fine run of form for the Victorian before Christmas.
The runs dried up at first-class level after the KFC Big Bash break but it was still Maxwell's most productive Shield season: 707 runs at 50.50.
He was also a standout performer in Australia's T20I tri-series success in February, stringing together scores of 40no, 103no, 39, 31 and 20no.
"He has got talent to burn," Border told SEN radio. "We've seen glimpses of it in the Test match arena.
"We see it in the short format of the game, but he can easily play Test cricket.
"He is just getting his head around playing within certain limitations which is hard for 'Maxy' because he has a shot for every ball.
"It's just getting your head around what's required to be successful at Test cricket."
Since debuting in Baggy Green more than five years ago, Maxwell has played all seven of his Tests in Asia, and that trend will continue if Langer opts to recall him for Australia's next five-day assignments – a two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, likely to be staged in October.
Langer has already stated he expects a strong Australia A team to be selected for the tour of India ahead of that Pakistan series, with Test places likely on the line.
Maxwell's excellence against spin – never more evident than in that maiden hundred in Ranchi – as well as his ability as an off-spinner could also elevate him above others gunning for middle-order spots in Langer's team.
He has been effective with the ball in Test cricket, claiming eight wickets at 42 as a part-timer.
"I definitely think the selectors have eyes on him for sure because of what he brings to the table: great in the field, dynamic batting and the off-spin bowling," Border added.
"It's a compelling argument to have him somewhere in your Test side. Fingers crossed he starts the season with a bang and throws his name into the ring."