Fraser Coast Chronicle - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIAN cricket coach Dar­ren Lehmann has de­nied Steve Smith’s pub­lic re­buke of Glenn Maxwell forced se­lec­tors into a cor­ner.

Lehmann was asked yes­ter­day in an in­ter­view on ABC’s Off­siders, if se­lec­tors were forced to pick vet­eran Cameron White over Maxwell be­cause Smith had just last week come out pub­licly to crit­i­cise Maxwell’s train­ing stan­dards when the 14-man ODI squad was an­nounced.

Maxwell was first over­looked for Chris Lynn be­fore the big-hit­ting Bris­bane Heat star was ruled out through in­jury.

He was then again over­looked in favour of White, who will play his first ODI for Aus­tralia in al­most three years this se­ries.

Aussie leg­end Shane Warne told Chan­nel 9 Maxwell had been over­looked be­cause an ap­par­ent weak­ness when fac­ing spells of short-ball bounc­ers had been ex­posed by ri­val bowlers re­cently.

Aussie Test greats

Michael Slater and Rod­ney Hogg both sug­gested there must be more to Maxwell’s squad omis­sion.

Slater said he could not help but feel Maxwell had not been gelling with his Aussie ODI team­mates.

Hogg gave voice to a con­spir­acy that Maxwell was out of favour be­cause he was not among Smith’s mates in the squad.

Lehmann yes­ter­day de­nied Smith’s pub­lic crit­i­cism of Maxwell made it im­pos­si­ble for se­lec­tors to turn back to Maxwell – even if they wanted the Vic­to­rian all-rounder to re­place Lynn.

Lehmann said Maxwell’s ax­ing from the squad was sim­ply a case of Aus­tralia look­ing to find more runs in its mid­dle or­der.

“No, not at all, it was a case of try­ing to pick the best team we think will win for this se­ries and Cameron White is in ca­reer-best form,” he said when asked about the im­pact Smith’s com­ments had on Maxwell’s se­lec­tion for­tunes.

“For us to go down the form line, for ex­am­ple, Tim Paine and Shaun Marsh, a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent, a lit­tle bit left-field. Cameron is a very good player.

“Over the pre­vi­ous games, (Maxwell) hasn’t been good enough. We are try­ing to get it right and see how we go.

“Se­lec­tion is al­ways tough and there are so many dif­fer­ent views out there, but Cameron White has been fan­tas­tic over three or four sum­mers with Vic­to­ria in the one-day arena and ob­vi­ously started re­ally well with the Big Bash, in good form, and that’s what we want.”

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