Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo: Twitter)

After Australia delivered a selection surprise and announced the Victorian was competing with Mitchell Starc to play in Galle, Glenn Maxwell has a chance to make a stunning comeback to Test cricket. 

Considering deploying only one frontline fast in the series decider, Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins indicated on Thursday after spin took 26 of 31 wickets in the first Test against Sri Lanka. 

The pitch may be a little harder than the first wicket put up in Galle, but the tourists will wait to check it before the toss on Friday before making a final decision. 

Glenn Maxwell Will Play As A Spinning All-rounder At No.8: Pat Cummins

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. Credits: Twitter

But if Australia does decide to make just one change and replace Starc with an additional spinner, Glenn Maxwell will be the man. 

“He’d play as a spinning allrounder at No 8,” Cummins said. “I thought he was just about the pick of the bowlers in the one-day series, he was excellent. You can easily get 15 or 20 overs out of him. 

“If the wicket plays lots of tricks, the batting will be the area where you have to find those 20 or 30 runs somewhere. Last week we didn’t need two quicks, but Mitchell Starc’s class so we’ll wait and see.” 

Given that Sri Lanka only used one frontline pacer in this series and that Australia may utilise Cameron Green as a pace alternative, Maxwell’s prospects have improved. 

Pat Cummins did not bowl in the second innings of the first Test, while Starc only bowled 11 overs, while Green saw no action at all. 

Selectors Looking At Glenn Maxwell As An Option For Indian Tour

If chosen, his call up may also provide selectors reason to anticipate the India visit in the upcoming year. 

“It probably makes it easier having other options,” Cummins said.

“You’ve got Greeny there who’s a high-class quick bowler. Trav Head, Marnus [Labuschagne]. 

“We know we’ve got plenty of bowling if we need it even Nathan Lyon, you can lock him in from one end for most of the day.” 

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

Glenn Maxwell’s last Test match was in September 2017, and his final first-class game came in late 2019. 

Travis Head’s hamstring injury during the last white-ball series was the only reason he was added to Australia’s team, but when Head was well for the first Test, Maxwell’s hopes seemed to have vanished. 

Maxwell’s extended absence from red-ball cricket won’t be a problem, according to Cummins. 

“It’s pretty different first-class cricket here to what you might experience in the Sheffield Shield,” he said. “It’s a different pace, the wickets are so different. 

“It might not be grinding out a hundred [at No 8], but a quickfire 30 or 40 would be just as valuable.” 

3 More Sri Lankan Players Out With Covid-19

The embarrassing wealth of Australia comes at a time when Sri Lanka is scrambling to find players after three additional positive cases of Covid-19 increased the outbreak in their team to five on Thursday. 

After officials confirmed they had tested positive on Wednesday, all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva, fast Asitha Fernando, and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay had all fallen ill with the illness.

Praveen Jayawickrama
Praveen Jayawickrama Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Just days after backup spinner Praveen Jayawickrama also tested positive, the three will miss the second Test. 

The experienced Angelo Mathews’ substitution out of the first Test with Covid signalled the start of Sri Lanka’s epidemic, which has now grown to five cases. All other Sri Lankan players have already been tested, and the results have all come back negative. Mathews has since been taken out of isolation and will play on Friday. 

Australia is sleeping in the same hotel as the Sri Lankan team, but they are keeping a respectful distance from one another and, as of now, have not had any positive tour tests. 

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc/Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins (capt), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson. 

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