Victorian says his teammate can dominate all forms of the game at the highest level
Maxi can be best in the world: Finch
As Glenn Maxwell looks to stake his claim for the Test team via this summer’s Matador One-Day Cup, his Victoria and Australia colleague Aaron Finch believes the allrounder has the potential to be “the best player in the world”.
Owing to international duties, Maxwell hasn’t turned out for the Bushrangers in a 50-over match since November 2012, but blazed a spectacular 98 from 63 balls on Sunday against a New South Wales Invitational XI to warm up for this year’s tournament in impressive fashion.
“He's looking outstanding at the moment,” Finch told cricket.com.au. “He's really in control of his game.
“When people think of him, they probably think of a bit of a cowboy, who has got all the shots in the book, (but) he's worked out how to adjust his game now and adjust through the gears of batting, especially in one-day cricket.
“His future is limitless. He has the potential to be the best player in the world if he wants to be.”
Quick Single: Paine desperate to earn top keeping spot
Maxwell has had limited opportunities in recent seasons to impress in the red-ball formats due to his automatic selection in Australia’s ODI and T20 teams, and has previously bemoaned that fact.
His solution this year was a county stint with Yorkshire, in which he scored one century in four matches and averaged 40.66 – a figure fractionally ahead of his first-class career mark of 40.42.
WATCH: Maxwell speaks after Bangladesh squad announcement
That decision, and some impressive performances with Australia’s one-day team, was rewarded with a recall to the Test squad for the Bangladesh tour, with the allrounder’s off-spin also a contributing factor to his inclusion.
Finch believes the 26-year-old’s time has come.
“He has turned the corner,” he added. “His technique is tight now, he's mentally switched on, he has great plans when he bats.
“I don't see why he couldn’t have such a huge summer in all formats of the game.”
Quick Single: Head dedicates double ton to Hughes
And with national selector Mark Waugh yesterday saying that performances in the domestic one-day tournament could have a bearing on Test selections, Maxwell has pinpointed the competition as his ticket to the big time.
“Hopefully my performances in this Matador Cup can help show (selectors) that I’m ready to make that step up to play Tests in our home summer against New Zealand and West Indies,” he told News Corp.
“It would be nice to play a few Tests at home and really show them what I’m made of.”
Maxwell has played three Tests without ever really being close to nailing down a regular position, but is convinced he has the skills to succeed in the longest format of the game, and says some of his recent ODI performances are testament to that.
“If you look at some of the innings I’ve played in the one-day format where I’ve got us out of a hole or batted well in the middle order and got us deep into the game, that has held me in better stead for my Test stuff,” he said.
“They (the selectors) have seen the technique side. It can survive at the top level.
“When the (ODI) top order gets skittled and I’m there to pick up the pieces with George Bailey, it was a bit more calm aggression than what they’ve seen when I’ve batted at the back end.
“That perception (of him being solely a limited-overs hitter), sure, I’ve had to deal with that for the whole way through (his career).
Quick Single: New faces in Tests to face NZ, says Waugh
“If the situation called for me going berserk from ball one I did it, sometimes to the detriment of my own perception.
“I’ve always tried to do what was right for the team. Unfortunately now I’ve got to fight back from that and change the way I’m perceived in the media and by the coaches as well.
“When people talk about the reverse sweep in Test-match cricket, I’ve seen players play it repeatedly.
“Unfortunately if I miss it, I get nailed. That seems to be the way it goes.”
Speaking following the announcement of the touring party for Bangladesh, Maxwell saw a dual role for himself in Australia’s Test XI.
“I’d like to be five or six, play that middle-order role and be that extra spinner that the Australian team needs,” Maxwell told cricket.com.au.
“It’s something I want to make my permanent position and hopefully hold it for a long time.
“To give ‘Gaz’ (Nathan Lyon) that extra help at the other end would be nice and I’d love to be batting in the middle order and scoring some big runs for us.
“It would be nice to play a couple of Tests in a row and get some momentum. I’ve had a taste of it … I just really want to have that time to really settle in and feel comfortable, the same way I have in the one-day and T20 side, so (it’s about) getting that time in the middle and getting that time in the team.”
The Bushrangers began their Matador Cup campaign against the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on Wednesday.