New Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell surveys the MCG from the top of the stands. Picture: Mark Stewart
New Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell surveys the MCG from the top of the stands. Picture: Mark Stewart

Test dream still burns for Maxwell

New Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell has spoken to Test selectors about his "aggressive" decision to reject the riches of the Indian Premier League to play more red-ball cricket.

The Herald Sun can exclusively reveal that Maxwell, 30, will lead the Stars this Big Bash League season in another sign of the maturing all-rounder's growing stature in the game.

The Stars' first three games will be on the road, meaning Maxwell will not captain his side at the MCG until the January 1 blockbuster derby against the Melbourne Renegades.

The explosive batsman will skip next year's IPL - where he has pocketed just under $3 million in the past two years - to play a full English season at Lancashire in an Ashes year.

"This is a pretty clear sign I still want to play Test cricket," Maxwell told the Herald Sun.

"To knock back a chance to play IPL was a big decision, and a tough decision. It's not something you make lightly, but the thought of playing Test cricket again still burns deep.

"I desperately want to get back out there and I still think I have a lot to offer the Australian Test team."

Maxwell expects to play just two Sheffield Shield matches this summer and said it was up to him to "source first-class cricket".

Stars coach Stephen Fleming told Maxwell he had been chosen to replace John Hastings as skipper, although their conversation quickly turned to scouting replacement players.

Maxwell captained IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab in 2017, albeit with language barriers, and said his leadership style would be moulded by his leaders in Cameron White, Michael Clarke and George Bailey.

"I am happy, and proud as well," Maxwell said of being handed the leadership role.

"Cameron White is someone who I've played under a fair bit and he's one of the best tacticians that Victoria has ever seen.

"A lot of what he's done on the field has been watched by me closely. Hopefully I can bring my own twist to it and it breeds success."

The new skipper might have to be inventive early with the Stars losing batsmen Nic Maddinson (arm), Seb Gotch (finger) and bowler Dan Worrall (back) on the cusp of the BBL season, which starts next Friday.

 

Maxwell smashes a boundary against the Sydney Sixers during last season’s Big Bash. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Maxwell smashes a boundary against the Sydney Sixers during last season’s Big Bash. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

Maxwell bowled six overs last summer, but he enters the BBL feeling confident with the ball.

"I'll generally bowl if there's a decent match-up with a certain batter, or there's a boundary or a wind that makes it necessary for me to bowl," he said.

"In the T20 internationals it felt like they were coming out well. I was able to hold Virat (Kohli)to a run a ball, which was as good as I could've hoped for at the moment."

He wants to replicate his Australian T20 role for the Stars and will bat at No.3 or 4.

"Whether we're two-for in the powerplay or we're one down after 12 overs, it's my job to control the middle and back-end overs," he said.

"I try to control the middle overs and give us a platform to really go at the end."

Maxwell hits boundaries from 19 per cent of his BBL deliveries and has made slight technical adjustments to avoid going "stale".

sam.landsberger@news.com.au

News Corp Australia


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