Ponting, Lehmann baffled by ‘bizarre’ Maxwell Test snub
Sydney, Australia - Batting allrounder Glenn Maxwell's "bizarre" failure to make the Australia Test squad for its tour against Pakistan left former captain Ricky Ponting and ex-coach Darren Lehmann baffled on Wednesday.
Selectors named five uncapped players ahead of Maxwell for the two-Test tour in the UAE next month, despite the Victorian being one of the fastest scorers in world cricket with a handy off-spin option.
Coach Justin Langer said the 29 year old needed regular big scores to be in contention, but Ponting questioned why he was not given the opportunity to do just that on the ongoing Australia A tour of India. "If I was Maxi I'd be thinking, ' why didn't you give me the chance to actually go there (to India) and push my case to get myself into the team?" he told cricket.com.au.
"That's all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn't been given the chance to play for Australia A, I'd be ropeable. I'm not sure what the message is, but it's a bit confusing to me," added Ponting.
Lehmann, who Langer replaced after Australia's scandal-plagued tour of South Africa earlier this year, was also baffled at Maxwell's treatment, noting that he had performed well in sub-continental conditions before. "I would have picked him," he told Macquarie Sports Radio.
A dejected Maxwell said he had interpreted his nonselection for the A tour as a good sign and had been under instructions from Cricket Australia to rest over the winter months. "To get told not to play in the A series and have a rest... I was understanding of that and their reasoning behind that," he said.