The selectors will announce who is in and who is out for the coveted spots on the Australian X1 for the Ashes on Friday, but who the players will be is such a closely and well-guarded secret that not even Wiki Leaks could offer us anything.
Glenn Maxwell is non equivocal in saying that he wants to retain his spot as the Test number six, but he says he has had no contact with selector Mark Waugh. Waugh was at the MelbourneCricket Ground to observe some cricket, but he was not there to see Maxwell bat before he (Waugh) headed off to Brisbane to pick the lucky players who will play in the opening two matches of the Ashes against England.
Just as well, perhaps, as Maxwell was out for four in the first innings for Victoria, no doubt drained from standing on the field for 135 overs as Tasmania’s Alex Doolan smashed a double tone.
Later in the day, Maxwell got another chance, when he was 20 not out at stumps.
Speculation has been swirling over the selections, Maxwell’s in particular, as there are many who would like to see an all-rounder picked to take some of the load off Australia’s bowlers and other that feel that Maxwell’s batting has not been up to snuff and that Maxwell is unable to make the necessary contribution to the middle of the order.
There are more than a few whose opinion is that West Australian Cameron Bancroft could come in, but of his Test claims, all the incumbent Maxwell could say of his chances was, “I have absolutely no idea. We’ve all seen how many names have been thrown up over the last three Shield games. We’ll see what happens. I have no idea what direction they are going to go.We’ve seen Cameron Bancroft perform well in the west … I think that’s what (selectors) asked for. But who knows what they are going to do.” Maxwell’s remarks appeared in the Herald Sun.
Maxwell was certainly adequate in his most recent Sheffield Shield outings, putting up 60s against South Australia. He averaged 33 in Test play against Bangladesh in Bangladesh.