Maxwell considering giving up Test dream for Twenty20 riches

Should Glenn Maxwell give up Test cricket for life on the Twenty20 circuit? "It's a question that's been on my mind for the last six months," Maxwell said. And it's not one he is about to answer straight away either, but you don't get the feeling one of the most mercurial batsmen in world cricket will be finishing his days as the old pro in the Sheffield Shield.

Not many players of his ability do any more since the emergence of Twenty20 leagues, which allow players to make six-figure sums for six weeks' work.

Maxwell's priority is still "100 per cent" to wear the baggy green, but if it becomes apparent his days in the international arena are numbered, he will consider his future in the game.

At 29, Maxwell is in the prime of his career but despite enjoying the best summer of his career he has lost his positions in Australia's Test and one-day international teams.

He won a recall to the ODI side in the days after this interview, but it's a Test berth he covets most. He made great strides in 2017, but 10 months after scoring his maiden Test century - and one of the finest by an Australian on foreign soil in recent years - he is not considered by selectors to be among the seven best batsmen in the country.

Australia are due to play a series against Pakistan in the Middle East in March next year. Whether Maxwell, who has played all his seven Tests in Asia, is picked could play a major factor in the route he takes.

"Subcontinent tours I've been more favoured than some other players - it'll be interesting to see where I am, coming to that time," Maxwell told Fairfax Media last week.

"I might have to make some decisions over the next one or two years. I'll chat to a few of the guys at Cricket Australia and see where I sit. I'd love to play that 2019 World Cup, I'd love to be back in the Test side.

"If there's no chance of me getting back into that Australian team, or they don't find a place for me, I've got to start thinking about my career moves and what I want to get out of cricket moving forward."

Maxwell has been both nowhere and everywhere this summer. He has not played a game for Australia but has seldom been out of the headlines. His relationship with Steve Smith was in the spotlight after the captain's controversial "train smarter" comments in the wake of Maxwell's axing from the one-day side.

They have since caught up over coffee - neither party has divulged what was said - but the public criticism took its toll on Maxwell's family, particularly his parents.

"When I first saw my parents they were both in tears and pretty upset for me. It hurt them a lot more than it hurt me," Maxwell said.

"That was the hard thing to take. For them to be upset at something that is pretty much uncontrollable. It felt like to them there was a red line through my name for a reason they didn't know about. I couldn't give them an answer, I couldn't explain it to them.

"After chatting to Steven since and getting that clarity around it I was able to calm my parents down. Dealing with them being upset about something they can't control but they just want to see their son be happy and successful. To see that in the media was painful for them."

Maxwell is desperate to change perceptions of him as a limited-overs slugger who does not have the patience or technique to flourish in the longer format. He wants to be seen as the batsman who can survive the final over of a session, get through tough periods when the ball is moving and who can be trusted not to give his wicket away.

The captain and selectors clearly remain unconvinced otherwise they could easily have made a strong case for his retention based on his numbers on the two subcontinent tours of 259 runs at 37. Maxwell acknowledges he was probably one big innings away from sealing the deal.

"I'm hoping at some stage I can get back in there and make my spot my own and it can't be taken away from me at all," Maxwell said.

"That's probably what I did wrong in Bangladesh; I gave them opportunity to give my spot to someone else.

"Looking back, if I could have turned one of those starts into a hundred, I got a start in every game, it's pretty hard for them to drop you come Gabba time."

His goals for the rest of the summer are to transfer his Big Bash League form into the Twenty20 tri-series and make the most of his omission from South Africa by posting what would be his first 1000-run season in the shield. He has three games left to achieve the latter.

"Even though there's not another Test series until later in the year it'd still be nice to keep stacking up those numbers I was producing before Christmas," Maxwell, who has 590 runs at 73.75 this season, said.

"If you perform well for Australia in any format, hopefully that goes a long way to putting your name up in lights and remind selectors what you can do."

This story Maxwell considering giving up Test dream for Twenty20 riches first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.