As it stands, Maxwell played both Tests in Bangladesh at the end of 2017 and then lost his place in the Ashes’ home summer squad. A call to be on standby for Shaun Marsh before the first test at the Gabba was the last occasion Maxwell was part of a test team.
That season, under McDonald, Maxwell made 707 carries at 50.50 for Victoria, comfortably his best return in a Sheffield Shield campaign. This time around, however, he would be more likely to follow the paths previously taken by Bailey and Andrew Symonds – winning a Test spot based on displays over 50 years old.
“I’m certainly keen to continue playing red ball cricket and continue to push my case to continue playing Test cricket,” Maxwell said last year. “Next year there are quite a few sub-continental tours. I will definitely do everything in my power to try and get on these tours and if I can somehow get some red ball cricket at some point in Asia to work on my game there, hopefully that’s enough to get me back into the baggy green.
Reintroducing Maxwell to the Test Match competition would be a break from the formula that has served Australia so well in Pakistan, but conditions in Sri Lanka are likely to be rather different, turning sharp and early in matches.
In this context, Maxwell’s status as a right-handed mid-order aggressor who can also bowl makes him an attractive option, most likely in place of southpaw Travis Head. The combinations for next year’s long-awaited India tour are also worth pondering.
Following an uneventful pre-tour visit to Sri Lanka by officials at the end of the Pakistan trip, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association are monitoring the state of unrest in the island nation, but there is little plans are likely to change.
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