Despite Glenn Maxwell's match-winning heroics against Sri Lanka, stand-in skipper David Warner says the allrounder will likely shift back down the batting order for Australia's next Twenty20 assignment this summer.
In the absence of the injured Aaron Finch, Maxwell has been a revelation at the top of the order in the two T20s against Sri Lanka, thriving against the hard new ball with just two men outside the fielding circle.
Report & Highlights: Maxwell magic seals series sweep
Maxwell backed up his phenomenal innings of 145 not out in Kandy earlier this week with a record-equalling half-century in Australia’s four-wicket victory in the second T20 in Colombo on Friday.
Chasing 129 for a 2-0 sweep of the series, Maxwell once again slotted in at the top of the order alongside Warner as Finch nursed a fractured finger.
With a combination of some the cleanest hitting you’ll see and the ability to find gaps no-one else could pierce, Maxwell brought up his half-century from just 18 balls, equalling the record of the fastest fifty by an Australian in T20 internationals, a mark he already shared with Warner.
After claiming the Player-of-the-Match award in both T20s, the Victorian allrounder was also named Player of the Series with 211 runs at a strike-rate of 224.46.
Quick Single: Australia exits with another spin wobble
Few could have predicted the success that came with Maxwell's shock elevation to opener, but captain Warner believes the challenge for Maxwell is now to ensure he can continue making an impact when he inevitably returns back down the order.
"He has been given that opportunity in the first six (overs)," Warner said.
"He’s a very good player of spin inside the first six and he can chance his arm.
"We’ve seen him reverse-sweep and sweep and that’s his strength.
"What he did today and the other day was no fluke. That’s exactly what he can do if he’s given an opportunity.
"The dynamic of our team, we’ve got a structure there.
"Once 'Finchy' comes in, he (Maxwell) will have to probably push down the order again and assess what his game plan is again.
"We’ve seen him do it at the top. We’ve seen him do it in the middle. There’s no excuse."
Australia’s next T20 assignment is still some five months away, against Sri Lanka once again in a three-match series in Australia in February.
Maxwell's form has been quite the response since he was surprisingly dropped from the ODI leg of the tour and the upcoming ODI series in South Africa.
The Victorian was left out of the 50-over squad after his form dropped off drastically in the Chappell-Hadlee Series in New Zealand earlier this year, as well as the tri-series in the Caribbean in June.
"He was disappointed he was left out," Warner said.
"He didn’t have the runs under his belt.
"The way he came out and played in the Twenty20 format, we know he’s very, very good at this game.
"When you get the opportunity, you always try to grab it as much as you can."
The Sri Lankans were stunned by the decision to leave Maxwell at home for the five-match ODI series that Australia ultimately won 4-1, having seen the powerful right-hander at his most damaging during their World Cup encounter at the SCG last year, when he brought up his maiden international century from just 51 balls.
"We were all surprised not to see him in the ODIs,” Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford told media ahead of the final T20.
"He sweeps and reverse sweeps so well. He bowls spin himself and he’s an outstanding fielder.
"We were surprised but in many ways relieved that he wasn't going to be in the ODI side.
"Unfortunately, he has saved his best for the T20."