Focused Maxi hails Langer’s influence

Australia allrounder Glenn Maxwell has attributed his return to form in the T20I tri-series in Zimbabwe to work done with new head coach Justin Langer.

The task set for Maxi was a simple one, ‘watch the ball’.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work with JL [Justin Langer] recently, making sure I’m watching the ball as hard as I can,” Maxwell said. “I’ve been doing a lot of work with that in the nets, making sure I’m really concentrating. That’s all I’m thinking about at the moment. So that was just a little gesture towards him.”

Maxwell recorded his first fifty in seven innings against Zimbabwe on Friday and said that he was thrilled to get some time out in the middle.

The hosts would run Australia close but Maxwell and Travis Head did enough to get Aaron Finch’s troops over the line.

He said: “It’s nice to spend a bit of time out in the middle and get a little bit of momentum with my batting.

“I’ve been a little bit starved of opportunity, though I missed an opportunity to score some runs against Pakistan in the last game.”

Maxwell rejected the notion that the match was a dead rubber: “there’s no such thing as a dead rubber when you’re representing your country.”

“It’s another game for your country,” he added. “Any time you get a chance to play for Australia is gold. Any time you get a chance to win a game for the country is something you have to take with both hands and never take for granted.”

Maxwell admits that he still holds out hope of a return to the Test team with a tour to the UAE to face Pakistan in the longest format on the horizon.

He said: “I’d love the opportunity to play in the Test team again. I’ve had mixed opportunities with the Test side and probably haven’t completely grabbed it with both hands every time I have got an opportunity, so if I do get the opportunity I’ll hopefully take it with both hands this time.”

The allrounder won’t have much in the way of opportunities to prove himself to the selectors ahead of that tour with nothing but training ahead of him in the coming months.

He said: “I’ve got a lot of training [coming up].

“There’s not going to be many games between now and the UAE, so it will just be training and making sure my body is right if I am picked for that tour.”