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After 'shattering' Sri Lanka Test exclusion, Maxwell hopeful of berth for India series next year

Melbourne, Aug 5 (IANS) Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is hopeful he will be in contention for a place in the Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar series in India early next year, though he said he was extremely disappointed at not getting a chance to play in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in Galle recently.

Despite emerging as Australia’s leading run-getter in the ODI series in Sri Lanka, he missed out on a Test berth chiefly because Travis Head was declared fit ahead of the first game and in the second match the ground staff at Galle prepared a good batting pitch.

But Maxwell, who said he was “shattered” by missing out on a Test recall in Sri Lanka, is confident he remains seriously in contention for the four-Test series in India in 2023. The charismatic all-rounder has not played a Test since 2017, but with the appointment of Andrew McDonald as chief coach, he is back in the red-ball frame for the first time in five years.

“I was shattered when I got told (of net getting selected for the Test vs Sri Lanka),” Maxwell told ESPNcricinfo while playing in the Hundred in England.

“It wasn’t that I thought they made the wrong call, I was just genuinely disappointed. I loved being a part of it (Tests), and I loved the thought of playing again. Even not thinking about Test cricket for a couple of years, I felt like I was ready again. I loved working with the coaches and coming up with new tactics to deal with difficult spin bowling.

I’m glad Heady (Travis Head) got through his fitness test because I’d have hated to be in because of an injury to one of your players. Unfortunately, they changed the conditions. If it was the same conditions for both Tests, I probably would have played. But they made a slightly better wicket, and the selectors made the right call,” added Maxwell.

“I tried not to get too excited or get my hopes up too much because I know, having been in that situation so many times and been on the wrong side of it, the ups and downs of selection and the 50-50 calls…but yeah, I allowed myself to get a little bit too excited.”

Maxwell revealed he was concentrating on targeted training sessions on spinning wickets at Victoria’s Junction Oval to help him with his preparations for the gruelling India Test series next year.

“Last year I had a pre-season at Junction Oval, where we would use the same pitches, maybe four or five net sessions in a row and by the fifth net session they were basically India. And it was awesome. They were the best net sessions I had.”




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