cricket news; Hot white ball form from Glenn Maxwell and Mitch Marsh could help Test push

Not playing a red ball cricket will not stop selectors from choosing white ball stars for the upcoming test series

The shape of a cue ball could yet form the basis for inclusion on test squads in the subcontinent for the likes of Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, who are locked into one format by the overcrowded cricket schedule.

That could include the upcoming tour of Pakistan in March, which Jhye Richardson will miss so the fast bowler can “build up as he needs to build up” after injuring himself in the Ashes series.

Australian squad chairman George Bailey named Marsh and Maxwell as two players among a “handful” who have the “skillets” to transition from one game to another more easily than others.

With tours of Sri Lanka and India also in 2022, subcontinental specialists such as Maxwell, who played in the Indian Premier League last year and made his only Test century in India, could be considered.

Marsh and Maxwell have both missed all of the Sheffield Shield cricket before Christmas to be part of Australia’s T20 World Cup win, and are likely to miss more red ball matches when the domestic season resumes amid ongoing national duties.

Bailey said the decision to let Marsh out of a five-match T20 series against Sri Lanka next month was partly a combination of the potential for more chances than white-ball cricket and “preparing for Pakistan”.

“There are a number of players, Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Ash Agar and Mitch Swepson, it’s a couple of guys off the top of my head who by the nature of the scheduling played a lot of one format and not a lot of the other,” Bailey said. .

“But they’re still working hard on their game and the three sizes are incredibly different, but there are some skillets that intersect, so if the opportunity arises it certainly won’t stop us from choosing them.”

Marsh, who played his final test at the Ashes 2019, has taken his exploits at the T20 World Cup, where he was player of the match in the final, to the BBL by scoring 342 runs in seven innings, including a hundred.

Maxwell, one of only three Australians to have an international century in all three forms of the game, broke the highest score in BBL history, 154 not out, as one of two centuries of his 468 runs for the Melbourne Stars this season.

Fast bowler Richardson has been selected for the upcoming T20 series of five matches against Sri Lanka, but he will be equipped for the three-test tour of Pakistan, which starts in March.

The 25-year-old, who made his Test return during the Ashes, went 5-42 in the second innings against England at the Adelaide Oval before an injury to his left foot and shin kept him out for the remainder of the series.

He said discussions about him playing for “the next 10 years” were behind the decision to fire him from the Pakistan tour.

“These conversations have always been positive, never a negative word said,” Richardson said.

“It puts us in the best possible place to play for the next 10 years, making sure the body is okay and going 100 percent.

“It would be exciting to play test cricket on the subcontinent, it’s a big challenge.

“But for me the focus is now definitely on the Sri Lankan series with a new T20 World Cup on the way.”


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