Cricket fans erupt over Glenn Maxwell news: 'Can't believe this'

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·Sports Editor
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Glenn Maxwell, pictured here during the second Test between Pakistan and Australia in 2014.
Glenn Maxwell looks on during the second Test between Pakistan and Australia in 2014. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Glenn Maxwell is in line for a shock return to Test cricket for the first time since 2017 after being added to Australia's squad in Sri Lanka.

The Victorian all-rounder was drafted into the squad on Thursday night ahead of the opening Test in Galle next week, with Travis Head recovering from a minor hamstring strain.

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Maxwell is a star of the shorter formats of cricket, but has also played seven Test matches after making his debut in India in 2013.

He scored his one and only Test century against India in Ranchi in 2017, but hasn't played in the longer format for Australia for five years.

With Head in doubt and Ashton Agar already returning home because of injury, Maxwell could be in line for a shock return to Test cricket.

The 33-year-old is one of just three Australians to score a century at international level in all three formats (Test, ODI and T20), alongside David Warner and Shane Watson.

Head was earlier added to Australia's bulging injury list in Sri Lanka after he was ruled out of the fifth and final ODI in Colombo on Friday with a hamstring problem.

It is understood Head had run more than 15km during the third ODI, with the heavy grounds and humid conditions causing havoc with recovery.

The 28-year-old suffered the minor hamstring strain during Australia's loss in game four, but still managed to run more than 11km.

Glenn Maxwell, pictured here in action for Australia in a Test match against Bangladesh in 2017.
Glenn Maxwell in action for Australia in a Test match against Bangladesh in 2017. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc (finger) and star batter Steve Smith (quad) will also remain on the sidelines for the dead-rubber match, after Sri Lanka wrapped up the series with their four-run win on Wednesday.

Having all three still on the sidelines is less than ideal preparation for the first Test, starting on Wednesday.

Australia's last Test series in Sri Lanka in 2016 ended in an embarrassing 3-0 whitewash.

"There's a lot of them," Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch said when asked about the team's injuries.

"Travis Head will miss the next game with a hamstring injury.

"It's a bit more of a precaution, just where he fields he does a lot of kms out there and the ground is quite heavy.

"I'm not sure what he's looking like for the Test matches. Starc is still not right...the stitching and where it's at, it's just not quite 100 per cent healed so without being able to bowl with tape on, he'll be out."

Travis Head, pictured here in action for Australia in the third ODI against Sri Lanka.
Travis Head in action for Australia in the third ODI against Sri Lanka. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Cricket fans erupt over Glenn Maxwell return

Jon Holland, Matthew Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy will all stay in Sri Lanka following the Australia A tour to help with the Test preparations and to develop their cricket experience on the subcontinent.

Head enjoyed a breakout summer as he starred in Australia's Ashes demolition of England, scoring 357 runs at 59.5 with two centuries to earn man of the series honours.

Josh Inglis could make his ODI debut as a replacement for Head on Friday, or Australia could opt to play an extra bowler for their last white-ball game of the tour.

In terms of the Test side, Inglis and Mitch Marsh are the other options alongside Maxwell should Head not be fit to take his place.

Either way, fans were excited by the prospect of seeing Maxwell back in the Test arena after five years away.

with AAP

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