Shane Warne and Mark Waugh have criticised the decision to bat Glenn Maxwell at No.7 for Australia’s first ODI against India.
The Aussies went with a new-look side for the opening match at the SCG on Saturday, picking conservative players like Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb, while dropping blasters Chris Lynn and D’Arcy Short.
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Maxwell was picked in the side to provide some firepower, but Warne and Waugh were gobsmacked that he didn’t come in earlier.
Maxwell was left on the sidelines until the 48th over, making 11 off just five balls as the Aussies made 5-288.
“Maxwell should have faced more than five balls in a one-day international. He’s so dangerous,” Warne said at the end of the innings.
“He’s got great innovation,” Warne said earlier in the day.
“He can score quickly and Australia are probably one or two good overs behind and he might be in the shed not batting at all.”
Khawaja, Marsh and Handscomb all notched half-centuries, but Khawaja’s 59 came off 81 balls, while Marsh’s 54 came off 70.
At one stage around the 40th over, Marcus Stoinis and Handscomb were getting very bogged down, ruining the chance of a score in excess of 300.
“This just isn’t good enough at the moment,” Waugh said.
“I don’t know about this batting order. I’d really like to see Glenn Maxwell in.”
After making just two runs off one over, England legend Michael Vaughan took a cheeky dig.
“They’re wearing the kits from the 80s so they’re playing like it’s the 80s,” Vaughan said in reference to the retro gear the Aussies were sporting.
Slow and steady wins the race
Desperate to shore up a World Cup defence that looked in awful shape after three wins from Australia’s past 21 completed ODIs, selectors made six changes to the incumbent XI and reshuffled the batting order.
Khawaja scored 59 during his first ODI in almost two years, fellow recalled batsman Handscomb top-scored with 73 while Stoinis smacked an unbeaten 47 off 43 balls.
The absence of a collapse was a big tick, especially after Australia slipped to 2-41 when promoted opener Alex Carey joined captain Aaron Finch in the pavilion.
But the hosts’ inability to lift the run-rate in the immediate aftermath of Marsh’s dismissal led to plenty of wisecracks in the commentary box.
Australia failed to find or clear the rope once between the start of the 37th over and end of the 43rd over, a stretch that featured just 27 runs.
Stoinis then belted two sixes off Kuldeep Yadav, taking 14 runs from the 44th over, and helped Australia score 18 runs off the final over to reach 288.
Fans slam Maxwell situation as ‘absolute disgrace’
Maxwell’s lack of time in the middle was also a huge talking point on social media, with fans stunned that he was left to watch from the sheds for so long.