If you’re going to prove a point to your critics then I cannot think of many better ways to do so than follow Glenn Maxwell’s lead, who issued the perfect riposte to any doubters.
Maxwell was dropped by Australia for their one-day series with England last month, which they lost 4-1, and had his approach to training questioned by skipper Steve Smith.
The 29-year-old followed up his knock of 40 in Australia’s opening tri-series clash with New Zealand on Saturday with a blistering unbeaten century, having taken 3-10 with the ball, as England succumbed by five wickets in Hobart.
I played with Maxwell while he was with Surrey in 2013 for the then Friends Life T20 tournament and he is the type of person who likes to prove people wrong. Being left out and having heard things said about him will have rubbed him up the wrong way.
Equally, though, I’m sure Smith knew what he was doing when he criticised Maxwell in public and was confident that he is the sort of player who would respond positively to that. Smith will know what an asset Maxwell is to Australia.
From where I’m sitting, however, I cannot understand why he wasn’t in that Australia 50-over team. In fairness, his form can be a bit up and down at times, but, similar to Jason Roy for England, when he’s on it he can take the game away from an opponent.
He also adds so much in the field – one of the best in the world – and provides an option with his off-spin. He has X-factor and is one of the players who has changed the game, especially when you see him reverse sweeping 90mph seamers.
He is tough minded, he loves bettering himself and is determined to do well. Like I say, I was very surprised that he was omitted from Australia’s one-day outfit, although I’m sure he thrived on proving a point.
Looking at the T20 showdown from an England perspective, Dawid Malan continued to impress and top scored with 50. Before gaining international recognition, Malan went about his business pretty quietly and forced his way into the Lions set up.
I’m sure it would have been frustrating to see younger players come and go as he was being overlooked for England selection time and again, before making his international debut, aged 29, in June 2017.
Fair play to him, though, for taking his chance. The Ashes was disappointing but he was England’s leading run-scorer and he can hold his head high. He couldn’t have done much more than he has in the last year.