A reinvented Glenn Maxwell has dismissed suggestions he could be Australia's X-factor for the Magellan Ashes Series, saying he'll build his case on reliability rather than razzamatazz.
Spin great Shane Warne believes the big-hitting Maxwell could be a game-breaker if selected for his first summer Test series.
"Maxwell is the X-factor at No.6," Warne told Sky Sports in September while naming his Ashes XI.
"He's tightened his technique up a little bit and can really get hold of you."
But Maxwell, recently promoted to No.3 for Victoria in the JLT Sheffield Shield, is on a mission to change his public perception.
The 29-year-old said he had worked hard to improve his defence and felt he had developed into a more reliable batsman.
"I'm not talking about the word 'X-factor' again," Maxwell said on Thursday.
"I think (selectors) made it pretty clear that they wanted the top six batters in the country and I want to put my hand up and be one of them.
"I have ability to score quickly at stages but I think, the way I've been playing recently, I've been more concentrating on just playing good cricket shots and making sure that I'm there for a longer period of time."
Maxwell bolstered his case for selection in the first Test in Brisbane, starting November 23, with scores of 64 and 60 during Victoria's draw with South Australia.
Victorian captain Peter Handscomb said after a discussion with Maxwell the decision was made he would bat at three for team balance, with Aaron Finch and Handscomb settled at five and four.
"He was just really calculated," Handscomb told RSN radio. "He was able to go in and out attacking bowlers, but then understanding the right moments to defend as well. When he was batting against the ball that wasn't moving, he was able to play his shots a little bit more.
"Once it started reversing, he understood (he had) to put a few shots away, just hold for the moment until we can attack again and until that tough spell was over.
"It was really smart cricket from him. It was great to see him really take the opportunity."
Victoria opener Marcus Harris labelled his teammate a "pretty relaxed" and talented player.
"He can make things look pretty easy at times," Harris told cricket.com.au. "You've just got to make sure you let Maxi do his thing.
"Every time I've played with him, they're always talking about him, so it was nothing too unusual. He batted really well this game."
West Australian hopeful Hilton Cartwright - technically the No.6 incumbent after Maxwell was promoted for Australia's most recent Test in Bangladesh - made a pair of ducks against NSW.
The pair should get another chance to impress selectors with the Ashes squad to be named after next week's Shield round.
Maxwell scored his maiden Test century in India earlier this year and was hopeful his subcontinent form would help his cause.
"I feel like I'm starting ahead of the pack because I played the last Test (in Bangladesh) and I think I was undefeated," he said.
"Even if it was in a different country, I feel like I batted quite well and I showed some really good signs.
"Hopefully that holds me in good stead."
Maxwell suffered a groin twinge during his second innings against the Redbacks but was confident he would be fine to play against Tasmania next week.
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
Gillette T20 INTL Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21