Australia coach Darren Lehmann says Victoria allrounder Glenn Maxwell was not considered for the third Test against the Proteas because he had not scored a Sheffield Shield century for two seasons.
Six changes were made to the Australia squad that lost to South Africa in Hobart, and while the selectors opted for youth by drafting in three uncapped in-form players, Maxwell was not an option, according to Lehmann.
“(Maxwell) hasn’t made a hundred for two years,” Lehmann said in Sydney on Friday.
“Are you going to pick a bloke who hasn’t made a hundred in two years?”
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Australia snapped a five-game losing streak at the Adelaide Oval last week with a seven-wicket win, with debutants Peter Handscomb (54) and Matthew Renshaw (10 and 34 not out) playing a significant role in the victory.
While Maxwell averages 43.42 in his past two Shield seasons for Victoria, the dashing right-hander has failed to reach triple-figures, posting five half-centuries with a high score of 98.
Maxwell’s last Shield century came against South Australia in Adelaide in February 2014 where he scored 119 batting at No.6.
In that match the 28-year-old batted ahead of Bushrangers captain and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, but said on Thursday his skipper’s promotion to No.5 this season, one spot ahead of Maxwell, hurt his Test selection chances.
“I think probably batting below the wicketkeeper is also a bit painful,” Maxwell said.
“The wicketkeeper should be batting at seven unless you're trying to squeeze an extra bowler into your line-up.
“I've been just trying to bat wherever I can and trying to make as many runs as I can.”
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Lehmann described Maxwell’s comments as “disappointing”.
“It’s difficult but again we’ll work through it behind the scenes,” Lehmann said when asked if the timing of Maxwell’s comments on the eve of the Chappell-Hadlee series was poor.
“They certainly can (work together) but we’ll take that offline.”
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