Gillette ODI Series 2018
Smith's strong advice for axed Maxwell
Captain wants enigmatic Victorian to ditch the 'funky' stuff and work harder on the batting basics
Sam Ferris Sydney
3 January 2018, 01:59 PM AEST
Australia captain Steve Smith says dropped ODI batsman Glenn Maxwell should ditch the "funky stuff" and stick to the basics if he wants to get back in the national one-day side.
Maxwell was today left out of Australia's 14-man squad for the five-match Gillette ODI series to face England later this month, with Smith and Australia's selectors pointing out the Victorian's inconsistent run-scoring in the 50-over format as the main reason for his omission.
"It's obviously unlucky on Glenn but if we look back at his last 20 one-dayers I think he's averaged around 20," Smith told reporters in Sydney.
"He's come back and played some pretty good Shield cricket, but we just want to keep seeing consistent performances from him and just keep putting his name up there.
"That's the most important thing for him."
While Maxwell has been light on runs in ODI cricket, the 29-year-old has never been in better touch in first-class cricket.
At the midway point of the JLT Sheffield Shield season, he is the competition's leading run-scorer with 590 runs at 74, including a gargantuan 278 against NSW Blues at North Sydney Oval.
In those Sheffield Shield matches for the Bushrangers, Maxwell shelved his more unorthodox, adventurous strokes and instead stuck more closely to the textbook.
That's what Smith wants to see Maxwell focus on at training, the area where the dynamic allrounder can make significant strides in finding the consistency the national captain and those on the National Selection Panel desire.
"Just looking at the way he trains, I think he could train a little bit smarter," Smith said.
"We've all seen the way he can come out and play and do all his funky stuff and be pretty cool with that, 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."
Maxwell has seemingly lost his place to destructive Brisbane Heat batsman Chris Lynn, who is only three matches into his comeback from shoulder surgery.
While he's been limited in the field since his return, Lynn's batting appears to be just as powerful as ever.
The 27-year-old smashed 63 from 46 balls last night for Brisbane at the MCG, clobbering seven fours and three sixes in the Heat's nine-wicket win over Maxwell's Melbourne Stars.
While national selector Trevor Hohns said the ODI squad named today was picked with an eye on the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales, it doesn't mean Maxwell is out of contention for the showpiece quadrennial tournament nor the rest of the summer.
"No-one is in any doubt about Glenn's ability or his potential to produce match-winning contributions with the bat," Hohns said.
"What we have wanted from him is more consistency but in his past 20 matches in this format he has averaged 22 and we need more than that from a player in the side's batting engine room.
"Glenn is still absolutely in our thoughts but for this series we have decided to look again at Chris Lynn, who is now back playing once more after the shoulder injury that hampered him when we picked him against Pakistan in this format 12 months ago.
"He has been one of the most feared players at domestic level in limited-overs cricket in the past couple of years and we want to see if he can convert that domestic form to the international stage."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Ashton Agar.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard
Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test MCG, drawn. Scorecard
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
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