Glenn Maxwell has the potential to be Australia’s next all-format superstar batsman, according to vice-captain David Warner.
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Maxwell scored his maiden Test match century in the third Test in Ranchi to become just the second Australian alongside Shane Watson to hit a hundred in each format of cricket, a feat Australia’s two best batsmen Warner and Steve Smith are yet to achieve.
Smith and Warner are walk-up starts in Australia’s Test, ODI and T20 teams and now Maxwell has an opportunity to join his prolific peers as one of the first-picked batsmen in all forms of the game.
To do that he must view Ranchi as the first step in a long journey that includes not just retaining his spot in the Test XI but ensuring his white-ball game, which has shot him to superstardom from Melbourne to Mumbai, does not fall by the wayside.
It’s a juggling act few batsmen on the planet have mastered but Warner says Maxwell’s ton in the third Test should give him the belief he can perform in the Baggy Green.
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"For Maxi it's about just doing the basics right,” Warner said today. “Keep doing what he does best at training.
"The hundred he scored was fantastic and phenomenal and a great boost for him.
"I think you look at the Twenty20 in Sri Lanka (last year), when he scored the 100 there, I think he's got it in his head that he knows he's got the capacity to do that, to take games away from teams.
"To come out here and fight like he did and bat time, it should say to him he can play this format.
"And looking forward and down the future, hopefully he can keep playing (Test cricket) for a long time."
Unlike his whirlwind limited-overs centuries in Sydney and Colombo, the Victorian’s 104 in Ranchi was a case study in patience, concentration and restraint.
Maxwell has perhaps the largest inventory of shots in world cricket but during his four hours at the crease the right-hander stuck almost exclusively to the textbook, playing only one of his trademark reverse sweeps from the 185 balls he faced.
The innings showed he had the temperament for Test cricket but now it’s about making sure it wasn’t a solo showing but the first of an extended run of performances.
"Hopefully it just ticks something inside that I can continue to be consistent," Maxwell said after day three in Ranchi.
"That’s always been the biggest thing the coaches, selectors have always wanted is consistency.
"If I can keep producing long innings ... batting long periods of time and building partnerships with other players, that’s going to go a long way to firstly holding my spot but secondly winning games for Australia."
While Maxwell and Warner, two of the most destructive players on the international circuit, share a number of similarities, Maxwell says it’s the Australia captain he’s looking to emulate.
Smith started his Test career as a leg-spinner batting at No.8 before he tossed the bowling to one side in order to solely focus on his work with the willow.
The decision was a masterstroke by Smith, who is now captain of his country and the premier Test batsman in the world.
Maxwell has always been classed as an allrounder, a hard-hitting batsman capable of bowling handy off-spin, but he’s barely been called on to roll the arm over under Smith’s leadership in both Test and one-day cricket.
But Maxwell knows if he wants to stay in the side and bat in the No.6 position that is traditionally reserved for the side’s allrounder, his batting alone isn’t enough.
"I'll try and keep both sides of my game as much as I can," Maxwell said.
"The way Steve's game has gone and with the captaincy, he's solely focused on being a batsman in the team.
"But if I'm going to be playing the role that I played this Test at No.6 I have to be giving something else in the team.
"You can't get by being a fielder and a batsman, you need the extra string to your bow when you're at No.6."