India vs Australia 2017: Michael Clarke questions Glenn Maxwell's bizarre omission for Bengaluru ODI
What's the story?
Former skipper Michael Clarke has questioned Australia's bizarre decision to drop Glenn Maxwell from their playing eleven for the fourth ODI against India at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Calling for the dynamic all-rounder to be utilised properly, the 36-year old lamented the missed opportunity to provide an opportunity for him to get back into form ahead of the home Ashes.
"I thought these two games in particular were a great opportunity for Maxi (Maxwell) to understand where he sits in the team. I thought it was a good chance to (promote him up the order) and make it clear to him that if he doesn't make a big score in the next two games, then you're having a different conversation. Then he could be dropped. I know he hasn't performed as well as we would have liked and I think everyone in Australia wants to see somebody so talented be more consistent. But I think he's too good a player to now allow him to just go back into the wilderness and go back to first-class cricket. I think the leadership in the team needs to find a way to get the best out of Glenn Maxwell", Clarke told Star Sports.
From the first three ODIs in this series, Maxwell could only muster 58 runs at a miserable average of 19.33. However, the context of numbers have to be taken into account as well. While he nearly turned the game around in Chennai with a blistering 18-ball 39, the 28-year old only came into bat in Indore when the death overs loomed upon the visitors. It was only during the 2nd game in Kolkata wherein he visibly seemed to be at unease.
The heart of the matter
It is pertinent to note that Maxwell was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal on each of the three matches in this series. The leg-spinner revealed that he had outsmarted the dangerous batsman by bowling outside the off-stump and making him fetch at deliveries away from his comfort zone. While he holed out to long-on in the first game, the hard-hitter misread the line and was consequently stumped in the next two ODIs.
With the series already out of their reach, Australia decided to induct changes in their lineup in the fourth ODI at Bengaluru. As a result, Maxwell was axed from the playing eleven while gloveman Matthew Wade was brought back to relieve Peter Handscomb off his wicket-keeping duties. Adam Zampa came in for the injured Ashton Agar as well.
The fifth ODI between India and Australia is scheduled to take place on October 1 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. It remains to be seen if the visitors pay heed to Clarke's words and bring Maxwell into the playing eleven.
Considering the fact that he can shift the dynamics of the game in quick time, Maxwell remains an X-factor in ODIs. With the number six spot up for grabs in the Test team, Australia should have persisted with the spin all-rounder in order to give him another opportunity to return to form ahead of the Ashes.