Maxwell relaxed about Ashes hopes | cricket.com.au

Advertisement

Maxwell relaxed about Ashes hopes

Allrounder addresses Ashes chances, Australia's 'big four' quicks and his absence from the bowling attack in India

Glenn Maxwell is realistic about his chances of playing in the Ashes this summer, saying he has "absolutely no idea" if selectors will stick with him for the first Test at the Gabba in November.

Maxwell is Australia's incumbent No.6 for their next Test battle, which is set to be a tour of Bangladesh later this year, although negotiations for that series are ongoing.

Quick Single: Maxwell's spot not safe yet

Beyond that, Australia’s next confirmed Test series is the resumption of Ashes hostilities this coming summer, with the Aussies looking to regain the urn they lost in the UK in 2015.

Maxwell posted his maiden Test century against India a month ago and followed it up with a top-score of 45 in Australia's second innings of the fourth Test in Dharamsala.

Maxwell celebrates emotional Test century

But the Victorian acknowledges that given Australia's tendency to opt for a seam-bowling allrounder in the top six for Tests on home soil, his spot is far from secure.

"I'd love to say that I'd be a good chance, but I have absolutely no idea," Maxwell told cricket.com.au.

"I don't know which way they're thinking. We've seen in the past that they like to have a medium-pace allrounder at No.6 and if they were to go that way in the first Test, I think that'd be fine.

Quick Single: Lehmann praises, challenges Maxwell

"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 leads way as Aussie bats falter

Australia opted for an allrounder at No.6 in six of the 10 Tests they played since the start of last summer; pace-bowling allrounders Mitchell Marsh (three Tests) and Hilton Cartwright (one) were both tried along with spinning allrounder Maxwell (two), while frontline batsmen Callum Ferguson (one) and Nic Maddinson (three) were also trialled in the position.

But the return to full fitness and improved batting of speedsters James Pattinson and Pat Cummins has sparked talk that the Aussies could opt for just five frontline batsmen to allow for a five-man bowling attack.

It's a prospect that excites Maxwell, even if he'd be the likely casualty of such a move.

"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."

While Maxwell impressed with the bat in India, the allrounder's absence from the bowling crease was a major talking point and continued a trend from the home summer when his bowling was under-utilised in one-day cricket.

Lyon (right) took the bulk of the off-spin workload in India // BCCI
Lyon (right) took the bulk of the off-spin workload in India // BCCI

The off-spinner bowled just six of the 287.4 overs Australia sent down in the third and fourth Tests having not bowled at all in seven one-day internationals during the 2016-17 season.

But Maxwell backed the move from skipper Steve Smith to instead rely on the off-spin of frontline tweaker Nathan Lyon.

"Nathan Lyon was bowling really well (in the Tests) and if you take Nathan Lyon off and bring on a different off-spinner, there's a chance to release that pressure," he said.

"And he was so good at building that pressure so I completely understood why I wasn't bowling, there was no issue for me.

"I'd love to be bowling for Australia, but I can understand the times I don't."

Join the Australian Cricket Family