Glenn Maxwell has never really been a permanent member of the Australian side despite his exploits with the bat. Having made his Test debut against India in 2013, Maxwell had to wait for another four years to play Test cricket, and he announced his return with maiden Test century. In the last four years, Maxwell has developed himself as a Test player with his last series against India producing positive returns. He played two out of the four Tests against India, emerging with 159 runs including a century (104) in his comeback game at Ranchi. But, Maxwell, who is leading Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, is relaxed with the prospects of playing in Ashes 2017-18.
In addition to being relaxed about his chances of making it into the playing XI for Australia’s next biggest Test assignment, Maxwell is also realistic about having “absolutely no idea” if selectors will stick with him for the first Test at the Gabba in November. “I’d love to say that I’d be a good chance, but I have absolutely no idea,” Maxwell was quoted bycricket.com.au.
“I don’t know which way they’re thinking. We’ve seen in the past that they like to have a medium-pacer all-rounder at No. 6 and if they were to go that way in the first Test, I think that’d be fine. But if I was to get an opportunity to play a Test at home, I’d love to take it the same way I did in Ranchi and make the most of it. But I’m not trying to get my hopes up too much. If it happens, it happens. I’ll still train and work as hard as I can to play, but I’m probably not putting as much pressure on myself as I probably did in previous years,” Maxwell said
Australia have been opting to go with all-rounder at No. 6. In the last 10 Tests, Australia in went with this formula in as many as six Tests which yielded encouraging results. Mitchell Marsh, Hilton Cartwright, Callum Ferguson and Nic Maddinson were the men tried out at that spot. But given the way Maxwell played against India, he is more likely to be selected.
Maxwell displayed resilience and strong temperament against India in turning tracks against the guile of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and almost cemented his place for Australia. After the ongoing IPL 2017, Australia will be playing the Champions Trophy 2017 in England.
Steven Smith and his side are then scheduled to endure a tough tour of Bangladesh for which negotiations are underway.
But later this year, Australia will be hosting arch-rivals England for the Ashes 2017-18. The five-game Test series will begin at Brisbane from November 23 with the last Test at Sydney from January 5.
“There’s been a lot of chat about the big four quicks playing in the same team and we might even see that in the first Test,” Maxwell said. “It’d be pretty exciting and I’m sure England would be under a bit of pressure with those four guys bowling 140-plus and then you have Nathan Lyon as the spinner. I think that’d be a pretty amazing line-up to watch Australia roll out.”