By Tom Atkinson
A public statement of support from Justin Langer may finally give Glenn Maxwell and his ardent supporters a reason to believe he has cracked the safe of Australian. During the week, head coach Langer opined that the dynamic batsman could rival Virat Kohli, to become the games dominant swordsman across all three formats of cricket.
Firstly, a warm welcome to Justin Langer.
He seems to have arrived late to the Maxwell party that has had the music blaring and beer flowing for months on end. Why couldn’t he see this before the India series? It’s a dramatic reversal in sentiment from the inner sanctum, that only 12 months ago had stated his training was not up to par. A year and some sandpaper changes a lot of things though.
Maxwell clearly fails the personality test with some. I don’t care how much those in charge want to blame reverse-sweeps or bad training habits, there is an underlying issue with him as a person that has needed to be resolved. In a time where Australia was searching high and low for quality batsmen to replace the sandpaper three, the Australian staff chose to look beyond Maxwell. At best, they wilfuly ignored him and at worst they deliberately disrespected him.
It is easy as an armchair expert to say who the selectors should be selecting. However, whilst a national coach or selector I am not, this view has been echoed by cricketing pundits much more esteemed and credentialed than I. Most are in utter disbelief that a man of his ability was overlooked for virtual novices. It was such an “I told you so” moment for the cricketing public, seeing Maxwell look ominous in India against the same attack that had terrorised Australia only months before.
With this new breath of confidence and positivity being publicly espoused by Langer, it renews hope that one of our best batsmen might finally be able to cement his rightful spot in all three formats of the game. The sooner he does, the better we will be.