Ricky Ponting surprised at Glenn Maxwell’s exclusion

Australia announced the squad for their tour of UAE, where the Tim Paine-led side will face Pakistan for a two-match Test series. This is Australia’s first major Test assignment after their scandalous tour to South Africa earlier this year. Accordingly, there are some major changes in the Test squad, as it includes five debutants comprising the likes of Aaron Finch and Travis Head too.

However, Glenn Maxwell’s exclusion from the team was met with some harsh criticism from former captain Ricky Ponting. The 43-year-old said, “If I was Maxi I'd be thinking, 'why didn't you give me the chance to actually go there [to India] and push my case to get myself into the team?

'That's all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn't been given the chance to play for Australia A, I'd be ropeable.

'I'm not sure what the message is, but it's a bit confusing to me,' Ponting remarked.

Maxwell’s snubbing is indeed a bit surprising, as his handy off-spin bowling could have been quite useful in the dry UAE conditions too. However, his inability to consistently string good amount of runs means that he finds himself out of favor in front of other formidable batsmen as such.

While justifying the decision to leave Maxwell out of the squad, current head Coach Justin Langer said, “I'd love to see Maxy score more hundreds and we've talked a lot together about the art of concentration and watching the ball like a hawk. If he does that more regularly, he will make more hundreds and be much more pickable for Test cricket.'

New entrants named Michael Neser, Brendan Doggett and Marnus Labuschagne are from Queensland, and they would have to be up for a difficult challenge in sub-continental conditions against Pakistan.

Maybe, Maxwell, who has had a decent amount of experience while playing in such situations, would have helped the new-look Australian side.

Former head Coach Darren Lehman spoke about the scenario too, saying, “I would have picked him. It was a tough one with Glenn, he made a ton the last time they toured India and he made a lot of runs in the Sheffield Shield. He plays spin quite well and it was an interesting decision.'

The first and second test matches would commence on 7th and 15th October at Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.

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