DARREN Lehmann insists Glenn Maxwell’s surprise national dumping had nothing to do with team culture, backing the dynamic all-rounder to have a “long career” for Australia.
One of the most destructive batsmen in one-day international cricket, Maxwell was controversially left out of Australia’s 14-man squad to face England this month.
Selectors then opted to replace the injured Chris Lynn with Maxwell’s Victorian teammate Cameron White.
It continued a rough summer for Maxwell, who was overlooked for Ashes selection despite making runs in the Sheffield Shield and scoring his first Test century in India last year.
Steve Smith poured salt in the wound by publicly questioning Maxwell’s training standards and suggesting he should ditch the “funky” stuff and focus on the basics.
Smith’s comments had some questioning whether the outspoken Maxwell had fallen out with Australia’s skipper.
But Lehmann on Sunday said his omission was down purely to form.
“It’s actually about results,” the Australian coach told ABC Offsiders on Sunday.
“Our one-day form has been poor for the last 12 months so we needed to change that around. And our middle order hasn’t performed.
“Glenn has played the last 20 games and has averaged 22. For us, that’s not good enough for a man of his talent so we want him to go back, play really well and force his way back into the side.
“If he does that, I’m sure he’ll have a long career with Australia. We’re not crossing him out at all — we think he can play.”
With a 4-0 Ashes victory done and dusted, Australia’s next major Test assignment is a four-match series in South Africa.
Lehmann again hinted that Cameron Bancroft would retain his spot, saying he was pleased with the Ashes partnerships the opener had put together with David Warner.
The Proteas last week claimed a 72-run victory in the first of three Tests against India on a fast and bouncy Cape Town pitch that made for a scintillating contest.
“It’ll be interesting to see what we get there … you’ve got to hedge your bets a bit (with selection),” Lehmann said.
“I’m not sure they’ll produce fast wickets against us. But only time will tell.”