'Big Show' turns no-show as Maxwell dropped from state
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Glenn Maxwell's stock in international cricket has continued its slide, with the enigmatic talent left to carry the drinks for Victoria in Australia's domestic Sheffield Shield.
The shock omission for the match against Tasmania at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this week follows his exclusion from the one-day international team for tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa.
The 28-year-old all-rounder had hoped to add to his three tests in upcoming home series against South Africa and Pakistan, or on the tour of India next year.
But he has little chance of convincing national selectors of his worth if unable to sway those at state level.
“It’s just a matter of balance,” Victoria coach Andrew McDonald told local media of his omission.
“There will be some unlucky players,” he said. “We’ve got nearly the full list available and we’ve selected the team we think can beat Tasmania.”
As a buccaneering batsman, a brilliant fielder and a handy spin bowler, Maxwell has long been seen as a player for all formats but has blown hot and cold since his international debut in 2012.
His hard hitting and array of unconventional shots in limited overs cricket saddled him with the unwanted nickname of 'The Big Show', while also opening him up to criticism for being too flashy during form slumps.
Maxwell played a starring role in Australia's World Cup win on home soil last year but he has pined for another chance at test level after failing to make an impression in three matches against India and Pakistan from 2013-14.
Although enjoying a fine season with the bat for Victoria during the last home summer, his test hopes were thwarted by the stability of Australia's top six batsmen during dominant series wins over New Zealand and West Indies.
Few would have seen his steep drop in form in one-day cricket, however, when he scored a total of nine runs in five matches on tour in New Zealand and West Indies earlier this year.
The all-rounder's response to being dropped from the ODI team was classically Maxwell, blasting an unbeaten, match-winning 145 in a Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka, the second highest score in the format.
Following that performance, Maxwell remarked that 2016 was the year he thought he would "break open world cricket".
As the year draws to a close, Maxwell faces the far humbler goal of breaking back into his state side.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Andrew Both)