Glenn Maxwell on his wasy to scoring 60 against South Australia at the MCG on Sunday.
Glenn Maxwell on his wasy to scoring 60 against South Australia at the MCG on Sunday.

Maxwell states Ashes case

PLAYING conservatively may have cost Test contender Glenn Maxwell a hundred at the MCG but his best score of the summer and failures around the nation should enhance his Ashes ambitions.

Watched by national chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, Maxwell, batting at No.3 for Victoria against South Australia, looked in control of his new upright batting technique crafting out an untroubled innings of 60.

The enigmatic Victorian said Test selection was an "uncontrollable", that constant speculation over who will make the team was "funny" and that he wasn't thinking about it.

Maxwell's half-century, his first in state or national colours since his maiden Test hundred in Ranchi in March, came as fellow national aspirants Shaun Marsh (2) and Hilton Cartwright (0) failed against NSW.

But Maxwell said he was simply focusing on getting better every ball and finding the path to being as good as he could be.

"What I am doing is working and the advantage with batting at the MCG is we have replays and I was almost watching myself ball-by-ball what I was doing," he said.

"I am still working on a few things and not totally happy with what I am doing. I am still working to get better and that I can become the finished product at some stage.

"It's all about the next ball, concentrating, staying strong with my defence.

 

Glenn Maxwell throws his gloves after he is dismissed on Sunday.
Glenn Maxwell throws his gloves after he is dismissed on Sunday.

 

"I am really confident in my defence and that has shone through in the past 12 months, I have batted a lot more balls … I've been able to be involved in partnerships and that is the key thing, not being worried about hitting boundary after boundary, making sure you are there for a long time."

The incumbent Test number was stoic for 113 balls and only undone by a un-Maxwell like decision to put away his pursuit of runs.

In the shadows of tea, having been able to handle everything to Redbacks attack threw at him on a flattish batting pitch, Maxwell opted not to swat any hook shots amid a series of short balls from seamer Daniel Worrall.

With three fielders out on the leg side boundary Worrall peppered Maxwell, hitting him on the helmet once.

But the Victorian, with the mindset of a Test batsman, put the price of his wicket ahead of his normal want to send the ball sailing over the boundary.

But in the final over of the session Maxwell was struck in the chest as he chose not to play a shot and as he spun out of the way the ball flopped off his arm on to his glove then the stumps, bringing his lengthy stay at the crease to an end.

"I was really enjoying that until I got out. Not the way I was looking to do that," Maxwell said.

Maxwell's runs came in a 120-run partnership with opener Marcus Harris who went on to score 103, the first century for a Victorian batsman this summer.

New Bushrangers captain, and Test No.5, Peter Handscomb continued his Ashes warm-up with a cruisy 43 before he was out to the innocuous left-arm spin of Jake Lehmann who took a stunning catch off his own bowling.

Aaron Finch swatted his way to 62, taking 33 runs off just 12 balls from leg-spinner Adam Zampa, with two sixes.

The visitors fought back late in the day with the second new ball, Chadd Sayers taking three wickets in the final over of the day to leave the Bushrangers 9-337, 15 runs in front.

russell.gould@news.com.au



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