Gillespie backs Maxi for Test run


Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie has backed allrounder Glenn Maxwell to earn a sustained run in the Test XI after his star turn at the tail-end of the India series.

Maxwell was the first Aussie number six to score a ton in nearly two years in the longest format of the game and Gillespie feels he will be an asset to the team going forward.

The Victorian was made to wait three years between Test appearances and many considered him a white-ball specialist but he showed a side of his game not many have been treated to in India moving past 40 before striking a single boundary on his way to his maiden Test ton.

Gillespie told “I’ve long been a fan of Maxwell as a long-form player.

“I know throughout his career he’s been seen pretty much as a one-day and T20 player and while I agree with that – he’s a wonderful player in those forms of the game – (but) I feel that he does have the game to succeed at (Test) level.

“He’s on the ‘A’ tour playing four-day cricket only and this is a good opportunity for him to get some more time in the middle paying the long form of the game in preparation for the Bangladesh tour.

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“Here’s an opportunity for Glenn Maxwell to pay back the selectors’ faith in him. Go out there, put some performances on the board and get himself ready to go, to be in the box seat to be selected for that first Bangladesh Test.

“He’s a fine player, he picks up length quite quickly in the longer form of the game. I think he’s a better player than what he’s been given credit for in the past in the long form of the game.”

Maxwell is in the squad for Australia’s two-Test tour of Bangladesh but faces competition for his place at number six from hard hitting allrounder Hilton Cartwright and spinner Ashton Agar who is handy with the willow.

The first Test between Bangladesh and Australia is set to get underway on August 27 in Mirpur.