Glenn Maxwell lacks the technique for Test cricket, former Australian leg spinner Kerry O'Keefe says.
Glenn Maxwell lacks the technique for Test cricket, former Australian leg spinner Kerry O'Keefe says. DAVID MOIR

The Big Show's a no-go for India, argues O'Keefe

CRICKET: There's a continued push for Glenn Maxwell to be selected for Australia's upcoming Test tour of India, but one astute legend thinks the all-rounder shouldn't be anywhere near the plane.

"The Big Show” divides opinion. Some see him as an explosive match winner - others see him as a liability.

As Australia prepares to embark on a tour to India in March, Maxwell has come back into the selection debate.

Despite struggling to secure a place in Victoria's Sheffield Shield side this summer, Maxwell is often mentioned as a solution to Australia's middle-order issues.

He can smash around opposition bowling attacks, given his innovative stroke play, and also provides a spin bowling option.

But former Australian leg-spinner Kerry O'Keeffe does not agree, saying Maxwell's off-spin leaves a lot to be desired.

"That off-spin is not even handy. It's dross,” O'Keeffe said in a YouTube video.

"It's perhaps the worst action for a spinner in first-class cricket in Australia. Maxi's action has fallen apart because of that drive to bowl dot balls in Twenty20 cricket.

"If you're going to have a number six that bowls handy off-spin, you've got to get it above the eyeline and make it dip. Travis Head may be a better option. He does that.”

Maxwell has struggled in the longer versions of the game in recent times.

The Victorian made his Test debut on Australia's last tour of the subcontinent, in 2013, before playing a single Test against Pakistan in 2014. His appearances in the baggy green have come on turning wickets and he has averaged just 13.33 with the bat.

Maxwell has not made a century for more than two years and Australian coach Darren Lehmann has challenged the batsman publicly to push his cause for selection by spending extended time in the middle.

But O'Keeffe feels there's a reason Maxwell hasn't capitalised on the opportunities he's had at Test level or in Shield cricket - his batting technique is fundamentally flawed.

"I love watching Glenn Maxwell play - everybody loves watching him play - in short form,” O'Keeffe said.

"But that technique is absolutely geared to staying inside the line of the ball, so you can swat over cover and point.

"Those techniques don't work in Test cricket.

"If you've got Jimmy Anderson steaming in with (the score at) 4-40 on a green top, you don't want to be too far inside the ball. Glenn Maxwell's technique is now really forged.

"He averages 39 in first-class cricket. It's not pick me in the Test team numbers, nor is his technique.

"I'm a big fan of The Big Show, but let's not get carried away with what works in T20. Often it will be found wanting if it's not technically right for Test cricket.”



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