Glenn Maxwell shines for Australia in the twenty-twenty Tri series against England & New Zealand.
His innings of 40 off 24 balls in the first game against New Zealand was followed by 103 of 58 in the second match against England then 39 off 26 in the third game.
Each contribution with a high strike rate (runs per ball) took pressure off the team in a format where strike rates of 100 or less hurt the team and put pressure on the rest of the batting lineup.
Maxwell’s quick fire improvised shot making approach constantly challenges the fielding team and their captains nerve.
Despite strong performances in the ODI series England have failed to put together the same consistent batting onslaught required to challenge Australia from a run chase perspective.
This is due in part to excellent bowling and in equal measure an aggressive approach to bowling and fielding by captain David Warner.
Despite not making runs himself Warner has continued to provide positivity, excitement and confidence to the shorter form team environment.
Perhaps his attitude despite lack of individual success is what has endeared him to team mates and the general public alike.
As the captain the victories mean more than your own runs.
Warner often maligned for inconsistent batting and skied dismissals via rash shot-making has had the pressure to perform lifted somewhat by becoming the captain of the twenty-twenty team.
His fielding intensity has been excellent and his positive aura has sparked some inspired bowling or would it be better to say he has removed the tension that often restricts new bowlers from showing their quality.
This quality which we witnessed in the Big Bash from Stanlake, Richardson, Tye, Agar, Maxwell, Stoinis, Head & Short has been allowed to present itself on the big stage.
So do we keep Warner as captain in the hope that this refreshes the team environment and eliminates the constant boys club BFF power struggle?
Or am I being too optimistic about the likelihood of friends of the captain not being given special treatment (e.g. a certain spinner for NSW who was flown out to India despite his ban for drunken behaviour).
The evidence is there for all to see, whilst Steve Smith makes runs this does not equal team success around the globe.
New bowlers in the Test and One Day teams are asked to perform miracles to keep their spot (Bird at the MCG) and then they are replaced after one match because there are more preferred options (Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins, Pattinson) even though we have lost an absurd number of One Day matches and can’t win a test series oversees.
But why change a losing formulas when we continue to win at home against mysteriously underprepared touring sides…
Now this isn’t all at the feet of the captain but he does have some responsibility for being an ultra conservative who would prefer to not lose a match then take a risk to win it.
Michael Clarke was an excellent captain because despite not being popular he was always willing to gamble, to risk everything for a win, he was desperate and clever.
He was not afraid of losing in this manner because it was the right way to play and the fans and the team could buy into the mentality that no game is ever lost and that their is always a chance to win.
Miracles were conjured up, by both batsmen and bowlers and these happened because they had the confidence placed in them by the captain.
Steve Smith does not give confidence to new players and purposefully uses them in a way that saps them of any confidence they had going into a match.
Here is a list of those negatively affected by Steve Smith’s approach to captaining Australia Bird, Wade, Maxwell, Renshaw, Handscomb, Neville all players with talent and ability who have been slowly strangled until they were replaced by other players for reasons that still confuse me.
Oh no I have started to blame the selectors and the coach for the team management issues that plague the national side…
If not the Coach, or the selectors or the Captain who else is there to blame for poor performances in One Day matches and Test matches oversees.
The point of this article was to be positive about Glenn Maxwell’s batting and spin bowling in the twenty twenty tri nations series but everytime I hear a commentator complain about how he didn’t do enough in the shield series prior to the ashes I just get angry and confused.
He scored more runs then the Marsh brothers and yet they were first pick, he made lots of runs and yet that seems to be irrelevant, if he had spent as much time schmoozing the selectors and whispering sweet nothings to Steve Smith perhaps then he may have been given a chance.
Another player who is being treated poorly is the incumbent keeper for Australia, Alex Carey who is surely the man to become the Test, One Day and Twenty Twenty keeper for Australia for years to come.
The only problem is that the selectors have gotten themselves so far up the proverbial with the random selection of Tim Paine that they can’t oust him without first giving some obligatory months or even years in the team to justify their own bewildering decision.
Thus robbing Alec Carey of the time he need to adjust to the position and to be empowered and given just rewards for his excellent form with the bat and glove this season.
By not capitalizing on his good form with national selection they lose the chance to develop him quicker in international competition and knowing the luck of Australian selectors they will give him the nod once he is out of form.
Then he will under-perform with the bat and they will look better in their misguided perceptions of reality and go about bragging that they were right in keeping Tim Paine and that Alex Carey is too young (not 35…).
Our next test series is in South Africa where our opponents have what we call slow bowlers who just happen to be the highest wicket taking bowlers in the world and we have our trio of quick bowlers chosen because of their speed who aren’t as quick as Billy Stanlake…
It will be interesting to see how our batting lineup performs against a swinging ball which historically has been their undoing.
It’s likely that our batters will fail and then our bowlers will do okay and then the whole series loss will be blamed on poor batting and the same bowlers will maintain their stranglehold on team selection.
Or we win and South Africa play terribly with bat and bowl and our ego grows to even more epicly unjustified proportions.
It will be interesting to see what happens, but I don’t have Foxtel so I will just end up watching daily highlights.
Keep up the great work Glenn Maxwell!
Perhaps the IPL and the shorter format should be the priority at least until he turns 35 that’s when the best players get picked for Australia.
Thank You for reading.
By Angus Tanis.