Ponting questions Maxwell’s absence from Test squad

Former captain Ricky Ponting has heavily criticised Australia’s decision to exclude all-rounder Glenn Maxwell from the squad for the Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Maxwell and batsmen Joe Burns and Peter Handscomb were overlooked, while veteran seamer Peter Siddle included – and the uncapped Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser and Brendan Doggett included.

The 29-year-old Maxwell was also excluded from Australia A’s tour of India earlier this year.

“If I was Maxwell, 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?’ That’s all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxwell, and I hadn’t been given the chance to play for Australia A, I’d be ropeable,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

“They didn’t pick him on that Australia A tour and they’ve said they’ve seen him play enough in those conditions and knew what he could do. But if you think about it now, that must have actually meant they weren’t going to pick him at all. He didn’t even come into calculations for that Test tour.

“With Marnus and Travis Head going on that A tour, they gave them the opportunity to play in those conditions, they’ve done well and then they picked them for the Test squad. I’m not sure what the message is, but it’s a bit confusing to me.

“He’s someone who’s desperate to play Test cricket for Australia, he wants to play any game of cricket he can for his country. He’s always going to be that type of match-winning player. If he comes off every two or three or four games – that’s the kind of player he’s always going to be. He’s got enough time and skill to be able to play more Test cricket for Australia.”

The first Test will start at the Dubai International Stadium on 7 October and the second nine days later at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.