Thu, Sep 13, 10:43am by Head Editor
The fallout from Wednesday’s shock omission of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell from new coach Justin Langer’s first Australian Test squad has continued with former skipper Ricky Ponting weighing into the debate.
The Victorian averaged more than 50 runs last Sheffield Shield season but was overlooked for South Australian captain Travis Head, whose career first class average is 36, some five runs behind Maxwell’s.
Ponting, who is widely regarded as the nation’s second best ever batsman behind the great Sir Donald Bradman, weighed into the debate after the team was announced on Wednesday afternoon, saying the 29-year-old had every right to feel “ropeable”.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Ponting said “That’s all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn’t been given the chance to play for Australia A, I’d be ropeable.
“They didn’t pick him on that Australia A tour and they’ve said they’ve seen him play enough in those conditions and knew what he could do. But if you think about it now, that must have actually meant they weren’t going to pick him at all. He didn’t even come into calculations for that Test tour.”
The Australia A tour of India that Maxwell was also overlooked for saw the hosts hit back this week, levelling the series at 1-1 with a six-wicket win in the final four-day game in Bengaluru.
Chris Tremain took five wickets in the loss that was played in tough conditions for a fast bowler but he was overlooked for veteran fast bowler Peter Siddle.
Youngsters Marnus Labuschagne and Brendan Doggett were named in Langer’s 16-man Test squad that will take the field against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates on October 7.
Having struggled in Dubai, especially against Pakistan, where they lost 2-0 back in 2014, the Australian’s are outsiders at $3.25 with the hosts in at $1.90 to start the two-game Test series with a win. See the full betting market here.
A full list of betting markets for the opening Test and the series can be found here and stayed tuned to Australian Gambling for comprehensive coverage of the tour that concludes with three Twenty 20 games.
Maxwell’s attention now turns to the domestic 50-over competition, the JLT Cup, which begins on Saturday in Townsville when the flamboyant right-hander and his teammates head to Townsville in North Queensland to take on the Queensland Bulls. The visitors are a $1.60 to start the tournament with a win, while they are on the second line of betting at $4, behind the Western Australia Warriors who are the $3.50 favourites to lift the trophy.
New South Wales ($4.50) are also in contention, with the Tasmanian Tigers the biggest outsiders of the six competing teams at $9.
FULL AUSTRALIA TEST SQUAD
Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matt Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc
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