Smith: Maxwell dropped because of poor form

n captain Steve Smith has insisted Glenn Maxwell was dropped from the one-day international squad because of poor form, declaring Cameron White had arguably been the most prolific run-scorer in the domestic 50-overs competition in recent seasons.

Maxwell’s omission from ‘s 14-man squad has been a hot topic, particularly after Smith had said he needed to train “a little bit smarter”. Then came selector Mark Waugh’s comments during Channel Ten’s coverage of the Big Bash League, when he noted a century by Hobart Hurricane D’Arcy Short had come without a reverse sweep, adding “other batsmen around the country, take note”.

That was interpreted as a veiled shot at the adventurous Maxwell, prompting Cricket Victoria’s operations manager Shaun Graf to urge Waugh to not discuss selection issues on air.

Smith appeared on Channel Nine’s breakfast show on Friday but was only briefly questioned about Maxwell, echoing what selection chairman Trevor Hohns had said when the squad was released.

“It’s obviously disappointing for Glenn. The selectors have come out and said that he probably hasn’t done enough in the last 20 games. He’s probably averaged around 20,” Smith said.

It has been pointed out by those close to Maxwell that he has averaged 27.2 in his past 10 innings (career average 32.3) in a side which has underperformed in the past year, failing to make the finals of the Champions Trophy and falling to a 4-1 series loss in India. Maxwell had been axed for the final two matches of that series, having made only 58 runs through three matches.

The Victorian dasher, who was on Test tours of India and Bangladesh last year, met with Smith over a coffee at Southbank on Friday to clear the air after what had been a tumultuous week.

Maxwell, who had been put on standby for the opening Ashes Test when Shaun Marsh was in doubt, finds himself in a fight to regain his spot ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England.

While he seeks to regain his standing in the short form of the game, White was surprised to be recalled three years after his 88th – and what appeared final – ODI. That it came a year after his public spat with Hohns, when the Victorian questioned the national selection policy, highlighted that form does count.

“He’s probably been the best player in state one-day cricket for the last three years or so, and they’re rewarding him on performance. I think that’s great,” Smith said.

White had 199 runs at 49.75 in four domestic one-day games in October – but was only 22nd in terms of overall runs. He had topped the table a year earlier, crunching 457 runs at 76.16 in seven matches. He was averaging 142.5 for the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL this season.

won only five of 15 completed one-day internationals last year, with one of their more frustrating defeats coming in the rain against England in the Champions Trophy.

The two nations share third spot on points under the International Cricket Council’s rankings system, with England – traditionally a weak ODI team – focusing more on this format heading into a home World Cup.

In Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root – who is expected to play in the series opener at the MCG on Sunday – and skipper Eoin Morgan, the tourists have a top order that can inflict pain.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to play some really good one-day cricket,” Smith said. “We’ve probably been a little bit disappointing in the last 12, 18 months so it’s a great opportunity to keep the foot on England’s throat.”

“They’re a very good one-day outfit. It makes for a great series. We’ve got a few new players in and they’re going to come in nice and fresh and create some good energy around the group.”