To borrow a line from a semi-famous baseball movie and to modify that line to fit the current circumstances, “There’s no crying in cricket.”
Further, there should be no surrogate doing the crying, either.
So, when Test legend Mark Waugh stands in to defend Glenn Maxwell, it is tempting to look for a deeper connection.
Maxwell was pushed down to seventh in the last ODI against South Africa, but it should have been a surprise to no one. He was sixth in the first two matches of the series and could manage only 11 and 15, so what is to be expected?
As an all-rounder, you can supply some benefit of the doubt, but to again borrow from baseball, if your catcher can handle the pitchers and play solid defense, all he need do with the bat is to hit his weight.
Maxwell has done nothing to warrant hitting above fifth and certainly, his 35 in the last Test was nothing that would imply a need for him to head to the crease sooner.
Yet, there was Waugh, telling Big Sports Breakfast, “Maxwell, I don’t know where his best position is but I’m pretty sure it’s not number seven. I don’t like him at seven. I think he’s the sort of player you’ve got to make feel wanted, and when you’re batting him at seven he thinks ‘I’m better than that, I shouldn’t be batting seven’.
Waugh spent little time walking those comments back when he said, “He (Maxwell) was obviously disappointing throughout the series as well.”
If Maxwell feels shunned or neglected, all he need do is start producing on a consistent basis. Ditto with regard to earning national selection.
Maxwell, as best we know, has been gracious about it all and we do not mean to suggest that he put anyone up to lobbying for a higher spot in the batting order.
Australia would like to take Maxwell on the UK tour for the World Cup, but if he is to go as an all-rounder, he needs to play like one.