Australia have produced another selection shock by dropping Glenn Maxwell from their squad to face England in the forthcoming ODI series.
The 29-year-old all-rounder, who has been replaced by big-hitting BBL star Chris Lynn, was warned by captain Steve Smith to improve his training habits to retain his hopes of selection for the 2019 World Cup.
“I think just looking at the way he trains I think he could train a little bit smarter,” Smith said.
“We’ve all seen the way Glenn 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 more so than the expansive things, then I think that’ll help him have his consistency and if he’s having those consistent performances he’s certainly a person you want in your team.
“We’ve got a really strong side. Lots of power-hitting in the middle with Chris Lynn, Mitch Marsh, [Marcus] Stoinis, guys that have done well. It’s unlucky on Glenn, but if we look back at his last 20 one-dayers I think he’s averaged around 20 and he’s come back and played some pretty good Shield cricket but we want to keep seeing some consistent performances from him and keep putting his name up there, I think that’s the most important thing for him.”
Matthew Wade was also dropped from Smith’s side, replaced by current Test incumbent Tim Paine, who last played an ODI in 2011 and was a surprise call-up for the ongoing Ashes series at the start of the Australian summer.
“Tim forced his way into the Twenty20 International squad last summer, and after coming back into the Test squad at the beginning of the Ashes series he has made a terrific contribution with bat and gloves,” said national selector Trevor Hohns.
“He deserves his opportunity in this form of the game and the challenge for Matthew (Wade) is to return to the type of form that saw him score a one-day international hundred against Pakistan last summer.”
Uncapped Western Australia and Perth Scorchers seamers Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye have also been named in the squad following strong showings in the BBL. They join the Test triumvirate of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc as fast bowling options
Hohns stressed that the squad’s selection has been made with a view to establishing a settled team for the 2019 World Cup in England.
“With our defence of the ICC Cricket World Cup just 17 months away, we are seeking to get a squad in place that can form the basis of the line-up for that campaign and at the same time regain ground in the ODI rankings, given we have slipped from the number one position over the past 12 months,” he said.
“There will still be further opportunities for players to force their way into the reckoning for the squad to go to England and Wales in 2019 but the sooner we can settle on our best combination and get them playing together and in form on a regular basis then the better our chances will be of retaining the trophy we won at home in 2015.”
The five-match ODI series between Australia and England begins in on January 14 at the MCG.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa