Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's

Maxi 'wearing Baggy Green' when axed

Victorian batsman discusses his Test omission and his plan to win his spot back

Cricket Network

12 September 2018, 02:17 PM

Glenn Maxwell has revealed he was wearing his Baggy Green cap as part of a promotional shoot on Tuesday when he received the news of his axing from Australia's Test squad.

Speaking for the first time since his omission, the Victorian says he's disappointed he wasn't afforded opportunities in recent months to press his selection case.

And he says the phone call he received from selector Trevor Hohns that confirmed his omission came while he was wearing his full Test kit.

"It may sound extremely funny but when I got the phone call yesterday I was actually wearing the Baggy Green, as extraordinary as it might sound," he told SEN's Whateley program.

"I was doing a shoot for one of the sponsors and we were fully in our whites. And I had the Baggy Green on and got the call while it was on top of my head."

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Maxwell confirmed he had understood his non-selection for the recently-completed Australia A tour of India to be a positive sign ahead of the two-Test Pakistan series in the UAE.

The Victorian also revealed he had knocked back several offers to play county cricket in the UK with an eye to the Australia A series, for which he was ultimately not selected, with the instructions from Cricket Australia being to "rest" over the winter.

As it happened, uncapped pair Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne surged into the Test squad after strong performances in the four-day leg of that India tour, leaving Maxwell perplexed.

"I suppose the disappointment from my side is I didn't get an opportunity to play any cricket over the last couple of months," he said.

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"I had a few offers to play county cricket in England and they were initially knocked back with an opportunity to go and play in India in the A series.

"To get told not to play in the A series and have a rest, and I was understanding of that and their reasoning behind that ... I was hoping that was a positive note to go to Dubai. But obviously that wasn't the case."

Asked if he felt misled, Maxwell replied: "Maybe a little bit. I feel like there were other guys who were able to get a full off-season of cricket into them and hit the 'A' series up and running or be able to put their names forward.

"I think the way they were going with the guys they've picked, they've obviously gone in a different direction and that's fine.

"I feel like I've still got some really good cricket years ahead of me. I think if I continue to play the way I have been in the last 12 months, the selections will eventually go my way.

"I feel like I'm getting better and better. Hopefully this is another year where I can prove people wrong and put a lot of runs on the board."

Maxwell said Hohns gave him a simple explanation for his non-selection – a failure to capitalise on opportunities in his seven Tests to date, in which he averages 26.07.

"The fact that my numbers at Test level don't stand up over the last few years when I've been included," he explained.

"Now I just need to make more runs. Hopefully I can pile on enough runs this summer to keep pushing my case forward.

"I had a pretty good year last year so now I've just got to have another good year this year and hope selections go my way at some stage.

"The drive to wear that cap again for my country is still burning deep within me and I can't wait to hopefully wear it again one day. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen but I'll be doing everything within my power to get back out there and represent my country."

Speaking in July, Maxwell said he believed the messages conveyed to him by selectors were positive, with his understanding being that he should set himself for the Pakistan Test series.

"I've been to India 16 or 17 times now, it's not a place where they (Australia's selectors) need to see me play," he said of his omission from the A squad.

"They've seen me play over there enough. I had a bit of success in the Test series last year, it's not hugely foreign to me.

"I haven't been given any indication (of a guaranteed spot in the touring party) but there has been a lot of positive reinforcement that I didn't need to go on that Aussie A tour. Even though there wasn't any specific words, I did feel confident walking away that, alright they're giving me an opportunity to prepare for that Test tour."

Following Maxwell's omission, Test great Ricky Ponting went into bat for the 29-year-old, who last year made a maiden hundred in Ranchi during the drawn third Test against India.

"If I was Maxi I'd be thinking, 'why didn't you give me the chance to actually go there (to India) and push my case to get myself into the team?'" Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"That's all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn't been given the chance to play for Australia A, I'd be ropeable.

"They didn't pick him on that Australia A tour and they've said they've seen him play enough in those conditions and knew what he could do.

"But if you think about it now, that must have actually meant they weren't going to pick him at all. He didn't even come into calculations for that Test tour.

"With Marnus and Travis Head going on that A tour, they gave them the opportunity to play in those conditions, they've done well and then they picked them (for the Test squad).

"I'm not sure what the message is, but it's a bit confusing to me."

Maxwell said he will now turn his attention to the JLT One-Day Cup, which begins for Victoria on Sunday against Queensland in Townsville, adding that the 50-over tournament would provide him with his first chance to do exactly what has been requested of him by new national coach Justin Langer: score more hundreds.

"I'd been hoping to start off this summer with that (Test) series and I suppose to not be involved is extremely disappointing, but the other positive is I'm able to play cricket straight away with the JLT Cup starting this weekend," he said.

"I'm able to get back out onto the field and try and put some runs on the board.

"(Langer) made it clear he wants more hundreds from me and that's fine, I'll try and give him that during this JLT and during the Shield season.

"I'll make sure I can give him what he wants."

Qantas Tour of the UAE

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc

Sep 29 - Oct 2: Tour match v Pak A, Dubai

Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai

Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi

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