Decision that revived Glenn Maxwell’s career
GLENN Maxwell believes his pre-Christmas break from cricket was the "right move" after a stunning Big Bash revival was rewarded with an international re-call.
The Melbourne Stars captain, and skipper of the BBL team of the year, was included in the Australian T20 and one-day squads for a six-match tour of South Africa starting later this month.
But Maxwell's Stars teammate, and BBL player of the year, Marcus Stoinis was only considered a "high calibre back-up" as Test batsmen Matthew Wade and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh were picked.
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"Marcus Stoinis is a standby player for each squad and was unlucky to miss out due to the make-up of the current top order," national chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.
"It is terrific to have a back-up player of his calibre in such good form."
Maxwell returns to the national set-up having stepped away during last November's T20 series against Sri Lanka to deal with his mental wellbeing.
The 31-year-old returned when the BBL began in December and produced some stunning performances with the bat, and as captain, to lead the Stars to the minor premiership.
He said the break enabled him to clear his mind and Maxwell even sidelined thoughts of a return to the Australian team, a decision he believes has helped turn him to a fresher, more rounded player, and person.
"I wouldn't have said I pencilled in anything this year. I think last year and to where I got to mentally I probably thought ahead a lot. I thought deep in to the future and all of a sudden you forget about the now," he said.
"When you have so much going on in the back of your mind, to finally be able to clear that away and concentrate on the things that matter, it's a sign it was the right move.
"I think I have come back a fresher player, been able to work out things off the field and get mentally right to play well and perform without any mental scars."
Hohns said Maxwell had been "brilliant" in his role for the Stars and remained one of the first players picked for the T20 team.
Maxwell believed he returned to the team better prepared for the ups and downs of international cricket, and any scrutiny that may come his way.
"I feel like I have shown that numerous times during this Big Bash. I have been able to think my way through situations and be quite calm in different positions and hopefully I can bring that to the Australian side," he said.
Stoinis missed selection in both teams despite racking up a season-high 612 runs, which included a new BBL record score of 147 not last month.
Maxwell said his teammate would be disappointed, but would get his chance.
"Let's be honest, if Marcus Stoinis keeps playing like he has this tournament, it's not going to be long until he's back in," he said.
Ashton Turner was axed from the one-day team, while Peter Handscomb and D'Arcy Short, who toured India last month but didn't play, were also left out.