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QANTAS TOUR OF NZ 2018

Maxi opens up on Smith and Ponting

08 February 2018

Louis Cameron, Melbourne


@LouisDBCameron

Louis Cameron, Melbourne


@LouisDBCameron

Victorian clarifies skipper's comments, talks about influence of new Aussie assistant Ponting

Glenn Maxwell has opened up on Australia captain Steve Smith's public criticism of his training ethic, conceding the comments were "justified" but clarifying they pertained solely to 50-over cricket.

After Maxwell's surprise omission from Australia's one-day international squad for the Gillette one-day international series against England last month, Smith caused a stir when he called on the Victorian to "train smarter".

"Just looking at the way he trains, I think he could train a little bit smarter. We've all seen the way he can come out and play and do all his funky stuff and be pretty cool with that," Smith said last month. "But when he puts his head down he's actually a really good batsman, as we've seen in Shield cricket – he's got some big runs there.

"If he keeps his head switched on and trains really well and focuses on basic things probably more than the expansive things then I think that will help him have his consistency. If he's having those consistent performances he's certainly a person you want in your team."

The likes of Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh queried Smith's decision to make the comments in a public forum.

But Maxwell has since cleared the air with Smith and on Thursday, a day after his match-winning T20 International century against England in Hobart, he conceded the skipper's observations had merit.    

"He was talking about one-day cricket and they were probably justified," Maxwell told reporters in Melbourne ahead of Australia's rematch with England at the MCG on Saturday.

"As a No.6 (in ODIs), it's an awkward thing to prepare for because you're going in (preparing for) about 15 or 16 different scenarios.

Maxi lights up Hobart with superb century

"If your team is 4-50, you've got to make sure you're knuckling down and batting a long period of time. If you come in at 4-250, you've got to make sure and you're coming with five overs left, you've got to go from ball one.

"That was more what he was talking about.

"When I sat down (with Smith) we had a good conversation about that.

"He wasn't talking about my Sheffield Shield preparation, he wasn't talking about my BBL preparation – he was talking about my one-day international preparation."

While left out for the initial part of the ODI series, Maxwell subsequently earned a recall for the final match in Perth and hopes to be included for Australia's next 50-over campaign, in the United Kingdom in June.

Coming off strong form at the back-end of the KFC Big Bash League, the 28-year-old has struck 143 runs without being dismissed in Australia's two victories to begin their T20I tri-series.

As the JLT Sheffield Shield's leading run-scorer at the competition's halfway point, Maxwell believes he's in the best form of his career.

"This has been my best summer, obviously for output of runs and consistency," he said.

"There's still a few years left in my career so hopefully I can take it to another level."

Ponting and Maxi talk T20 and coaching

Maxwell has been working closely with Ponting, who's on board with Australia's off-field staff as an assistant coach for the T20 series, as he looks to build on his consistency across all formats.

"I've been pretty close to Glenn for a number of years," Ponting told ABC Grandstand ahead of Wednesday's T20I.

"I feel if I can give enough time and attention to him that I can find ways to get the best out of him.

"I really enjoy working with him because I know what sort of talent he's got."

Maxwell reflects on star all-rounder performance

The pair will again link up in April in the Indian Premier League, with the Ponting-coached Delhi Daredevils picking Maxwell up for AUD$1.75million in the recent auction.

"We've been doing a little bit of work off the field with my preparation," Maxwell said.

"Just having little chats with him as well about the game.

"I've made it pretty public that he's one of my childhood idols. To have him on my side, in my corner, and backing me in is awesome."

Ponting re-lives Australia's first-ever T20 match

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler. 

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

About the Writer

@LouisDBCameron

Louis Cameron is a Melbourne-based journalist. A former Victorian Bushrangers fast bowler, Louis joined the cricket.com.au team with assistance from the Australian Cricketers' Association's Internship Program in 2016.