When Australia woke up last Wednesday morning, they were confronted with a stunning win from their one day international team against the West Indies in Bridgetown, punctuated with an exclamation mark from Glenn Maxwell.
Maxwell’s contribution to help get the Aussies home was an unbeaten 46 off 26 balls, including reverse sweeping West Indian off spinner Sunil Narine for a monster six.
It was a fantastic innings from Maxi, one to be proud of, considering he was left out from the beginning of the series after a heart to heart from captain Steve Smith.
The selectors defended their dropping of Maxwell by reasoning that they would like to see more consistency from him at his important position in the batting lineup.
Despite the recall and subsequent impressive knock, this point is exactly why Glenn Maxwell does not yet have what it takes to be an ODI cricketer, let alone a Test mainstay as some have suggested.
Smith noted that Maxwell earned his recall through improved training in the nets, striking the ball with a far clearer mind, playing each shot on it’s merits and with less premeditation.
Ultimately, this is the kind of focus Maxi will require in order to develop as a cricketer.
Smith did address the reverse sweep, mentioning that they cannot ask him to put away his bag of tricks forever. After all, it’s what makes him such a dangerous player on his day.
“We want him to play with freedom because he’s a dangerous player, but we also want him to keep learning to play good cricket shots in order to get consistent results” Smith said.
Maxwell’s average right now is 33.8, a touch below the yardstick of around 35 that an international mainstay requires.
This average includes an outrageous high of 102 off 53 balls against Sri Lanka in Sydney at the World Cup last year, as well as seven ducks and 12 single figure scores, the latter two figures making up around a third of his 60 ODI innings.
Of course, not all Maxi offers is batting. When he’s on song, he is the best fielder in the Australian side, and at times is a handy off spinner.
However, if he wants to take his cricket to the next level, that average will have to move north to warrant his continued selection for the Australian side, especially with the barrels of young batting talent in Australian cricket.