GLENN Maxwell, the man dubbed the ”Big Show” by teammates, wants to prove to his critics he has the substance to complement his flair.
Maxwell has been picked as a spin-bowling all-rounder for the Test tour of India but he is adamant, with more opportunities, that he can show why he considers himself to be primarily a batsman.
The charismatic 24-year-old’s whirlwind 51 off only 35 balls against the West Indies on Friday underlined why national selectors see him as a work in progress, but failed to dispel notions he was purely a frontrunner.
The test will come on the subcontinent if he is awarded a baggy green and has to lift his team out of trouble batting at either six or seven.
Maxwell has not played a first-class match in 10 weeks and his record with the bat in the Sheffield Shield this summer – 90 runs at 22.5 – does not inspire confidence, although he does have a first-class half-century for Australia A against South Africa’s high-class pace attack.
”I haven’t played a lot of shield cricket this year and a few of the first-class games I have played I feel as if I’ve batted really well,” Maxwell said.
”I feel that if I’m called upon I can get the opportunity to bat all day.”
Former Test star Dean Jones wrote in a Fairfax column on Saturday he believed the Victorian was a bowler who could bat, but not so Maxwell.
”I feel like I’m a genuine batsman,” Maxwell says. ”I’ve done a lot of work on my technique the last few years and especially with Greg Shipperd in Victoria – he’s been a big believer in my technique.
”I feel like that’s really shone through in shield cricket, I’ve played some good innings where I’ve played technically really good cricket.”
Maxwell said he would continue playing his shots ”if the time allows for it” in the Test arena although he promised to be more circumspect.
”If I do get the chance to play Test cricket I’ll be a little bit more reserved,” Maxwell said.
That is good news for Australian team management. They can see the talent but want to see it matched by performances before they can be confident of his dependability.
Despite Maxwell’s assertions he is a batsman first, it’s likely his off-spin will be the string to his bow that will win him selection in India. After a lean ODI series against Sri Lanka, Maxwell showed signs of improvement with the ball in the ensuing Twenty20 matches although he was not given a chance with the ball in Australia’s cakewalk over the West Indies on Friday.
Conditions in India are likely to suit Maxwell’s brand of spin as he is quicker through the air than most slow bowlers. ”With the wickets and the way they spin you can bowl a lot faster over there and really use your pace variations to your advantage,” he said.
”In Australia you have to be a lot more accurate and a lot more consistent whereas India allows you more margin for error because of the way it spins.
”I’m really looking forward to getting over there and getting the opportunity to bowl a lot of overs.”
Maxwell is part of an Australian one-day team striving for more consistency.
The Australians also started their drawn series with Sri Lanka with an emphatic victory only to quickly lose their way.
”We’ll be hoping to keep the pressure right on through the series and hopefully have a whitewash and get 5-0,” Maxwell said.
”If we’re thinking we want to win 3-2, that’d be negative thinking.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.