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Australia’s Maxwell banks on Asia experience for Test return

Says he will be able to tackle good spin bowling in tough conditions
Published 25 Jun, 2022 01:14pm
<p>Australia’s Glenn Maxwell plays a shot during the third one-day international against Sri Lanka. AFP/File</p>

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell plays a shot during the third one-day international against Sri Lanka. AFP/File

COLOMBO: Australia’s Glenn Maxwell says his baggy green has seen better days but he expects to make the Test team for the Sri Lanka series thanks to his subcontinent playing experience.

Maxwell, who has played just seven Tests in his decade-long career, hit a match-winning 80 in the opening one-day international – though the tourists went down to Sri Lanka 3-2 in the five-match series.

He was added as an option for the Test series starting next week in Galle while teammate Travis Head recovers from a minor hamstring strain.

But the Melbourne-born Maxwell, who is a big-hitter, handy off-spinner and an outstanding fielder, said the Australian Test cap he was given on his debut in 2013 is in terrible shape.

“I’m glad I didn’t bring it because it has completely disintegrated, so I’m going to have to get a new one for this Test tour,” the 33-year-old said.

“I took it out last year and had a look at it, it was deteriorating and I thought that wasn’t a good sign,” he added.

“My wife took it out yesterday and said, ‘I don’t think I can bring this.’”

Maxwell, who made a Test century in India five years ago, said his ability to tackle spin goes in his favour on Sri Lanka’s turning pitches and on South Asian tours in general.

“I think I bring a lot of experience playing in these sorts of conditions and be able to tackle good spin bowling in tough conditions,” said Maxwell.

He added that playing in the Indian Premier League – for Royal Challengers Bangalore – during the coronavirus pandemic also prepared him for extreme spin pitches.

“I think training in IPL so regularly… being in a bubble during IPL really helped, because there was no travel, so we had more time for training sessions,” he said.

“Training wickets were extremely tired, they were spinning big, they were inconsistent and it was brilliant practice. That helped me coming into this series.”

Both the Sri Lanka Tests are in Galle with the opening match starting Wednesday.

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