MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Controversial all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has impressed Australia coach Darren Lehmann with his handling of criticism over some comments he made and may earn a recall in the third and final one-day match against New Zealand on Friday.
Maxwell was fined by his team mates for expressing his disappointment at batting lower down the order than he expected for his state side Victoria.
He also suggested that decision was because wicketkeeper, and Australian team mate, Matthew Wade, was the state captain and choosing to bat ahead of him.
The 28-year-old was heavily criticised by former players and missed out on selection for the first two games of the New Zealand series, though Lehmann reiterated that was a balance issue rather than anything to do with his comments.
“He has been fantastic, full credit to him, the way he’s handled it and the way he’s been around the team,” Lehmann told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
”We’ve named the team quite late both times ... and he’s missed out last minute and he’s handled that really well.
“I‘m really pleased the way he’s gone about it, and I know the players are (at) the way he’s dealt with it.”
Lehmann added that Maxwell was a strong chance to play on his home track at the MCG, but the decision would again be made when they got to the ground and inspected the wicket after rain on Thursday prevented them from training outside.
Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood, who were both named earlier on Thursday for the first test against Pakistan in Brisbane next week, were unlikely to be rested for the dead-rubber game against New Zealand.
“I would think they would be playing ... they’ve got to bowl some overs and get ready for Brisbane anyway,” Lehmann said.
“They’ve pulled up ok so unless something happens in the next 24 hours, we expect them to play.”
The team would, however, still err on the side of caution with returning quick Pat Cummins’ workload, Lehmann said, after he has spent years battling injuries, despite his 4-41 in Canberra where he consistently bowled over 150kph.
“We’re slowly slowly with him,” Lehmann said.
”When you get someone like that that’s coming back and just goes ‘bang’ like that with a performance in Canberra, you go ‘Wow, we just want him in’.
“So you’ve got to sit back and work out what the best way to go about it is.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty