Wak­ing up and smelling coffee

Maxwell chats with Smith

The Gympie Times - - SPORT - Rus­sell Gould Her­ald Sun

CRICKET: Ex­iled bats­man Glenn Maxwell had made good on his pledge to have a face-to-face meet­ing with Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith, sit­ting down for a coffee with the skip­per yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

The pair came to­gether in South­bank a week after Maxwell was given a public slap from Smith when he was left out of the one-day squad to play Eng­land.

It was the sec­ond re­buff for Maxwell this sum­mer after he was over­looked for the Test team de­spite be­ing the in­cum­bent num­ber six bats­man and mak­ing his maiden cen­tury in In­dia in March.

Maxwell was con­fused by the ODI ax­ing and par­tic­u­larly the com­ments about his train­ing habits after tak­ing his game to an­other level this sea­son and top­ping the Sheffield Shield run ta­ble us­ing a new bat­ting tech­nique de­vel­oped through hours in the nets.

He re­ceived sup­port from sev­eral peers, too, state and national team­mates who said Maxwell’s train­ing had been im­pec­ca­ble and that his bat­ting was bet­ter than ever.

For­mer Aus­tralian cap­tain Ricky Ponting said Maxwell should have been the au­to­matic re­place­ment for in­jured Chris Lynn in the one-day team, a spot which went to Vic­to­rian Cameron White.

Maxwell took the knock on the chin, how­ever, and said there were “only good in­ten­tions” be­hind the public spray from Smith, deny­ing any talk of a rift be­tween the pair.

“I’ll ad­dress that with Steven per­son­ally. I’ll have a chat with him,” Maxwell said ear­lier this week after mak­ing 60 off 38 balls for the Mel­bourne Stars in Ade­laide.

“We get along re­ally well. We’ve got a good friend­ship. I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

The pair chat­ted am­i­ca­bly in the coffee shop, just hours be­fore Maxwell was to play for the Stars in the Big Bash clash with the Mel­bourne Rene­gades.

The choice of White over Maxwell raised eye­brows given the se­lec­tors had made clear their de­sire to start build­ing a squad for next year’s World Cup, when the vet­eran bats­man will be 35.

And Aussie all-rounder Mar­cus Stoi­nis said it was time to start “nar­row­ing the fo­cus” on find­ing the right group to ar­rest the team’s re­cent one-day de­cline.

“Find­ing a con­sis­tent play­ing group would be num­ber one (pri­or­ity),” Stoi­nis said ahead of Sun­day’s MCG show­down with Eng­land.

“We are build­ing to­wards the next World Cup, so try­ing to find the right mix.”

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