"Get hundreds" is the oldest line delivered by selectors to an unwanted batter at the time of a squad announcement. Nor is it always as simple a task as it seems.
Australia coach Justin Langer said that Glenn Maxwell needed to become a more consistent century creator if he was to appear on the test team after his team's omission to face Pakistan. but a strange sequence of selection and decision instructions seems to have made that more difficult than it could have been.
Maxwell's 29-year omission from the group to play two Tests against Pakistan was the main choice made by Langer, selection president Trevor Hohns and national talent manager Greg Chappell. It was a decision forecast a few weeks ago when Langer used an interview with Australian to make an unflattering comparison between Maxwell and suspended Steven Smith in terms of hundreds of points.
"It's very interesting." He, Maxi, "said Langer." I think everyone, including himself, is trying to discover the mystery of Glenn Maxwell. He knows that it depends completely on him. Has [almost] 30 years, for example, Steve Smith is 29 and has 79 hundreds, Glenn Maxwell has 17 hundreds [in all forms]. So a huge talent, an elite that fits the young person, is incredibly good, brings a lot to the table.
"But maybe what you need to learn … in Zimbabwe, he made me that sign to see the ball, in short, that's what the batting is about, to learn the art of concentration … In my office, at the moment I received a letter from Sir Donald Bradman in 1995, where he says that the most important thing is to learn to concentrate.
"What concentration means is to eliminate all distractions and look at the ball like a hawk over and over again. If you do that, you get hundreds, and that's what great players do. Then Maxi is his great challenge, he becomes a more consistent player. He knows, everything I say will not surprise you. He – if he can keep learning to see the ball really out of hand for longer periods of time, he will get more hundreds, and then it will be too good to ignore it. "
Langer pretty much repeated these explaining on Tuesday why Maxwell was not included in the test squad, despite a gap left by Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, and despite his strong performances for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield last summer, where he scored 707 runs at 50.50, including a 278 chance to gainst New South Wales.
"He's a very good player and I'm very impressed with him in England, the way he does his job" said Langer. "I would love to see Maxi score more hundreds. And he and I have talked a lot in our brief time together about the art of concentration and watching the ball like a hawk and I am sure that if he does it more often, he will do much more hundreds and be much more eligible for the cricket. test. "
All this seems pretty simple, but ESPNcricinfo learned of a somewhat confusing sequence for Maxwell about the aforementioned tour of England and Zimbabwe, where he performed below expectations in the limited team, then Another demonstration of Delhi Daredevils, under the tutelage of Ricky Ponting, at the IPL These exhibitions left Maxwell eager to spend more time in the middle, possibly through a white-ball deal in English county cricket that could have become in a season of red balls, as Finch did before, for Yorkshire, among others.  "At a time when the batting talent locker is almost naked for Aust ralia, Maxwell's omission seems like a bigger bet than its inclusion would have been "
However, it is believed that he was advised by Cricket Australia to rest before the Australia A tour of India instead of playing elsewhere. This advice gave rise to an understandable sense of mystification when the squadron was announced and Maxwell's name was omitted. At that time it was explained that Maxwell was one of the many players who were considered to have played and who had succeeded in Asian conditions so as not to need the season in India, a line that Langer also followed in his previous interview.
When asked why Maxwell was not going to India to play long matches for Australia where he could work on his concentration levels, Langer replied that the Victorian qualities against the turn had already been well understood by the selectors "I think we're not going to take him to India because we've seen he's now 30," Langer said.
"I know we're taking Ussie [Usman Khawaja] but there are many reasons for that, a lot of discussion that he can not play bowling and I just do not think so, but it's a good opportunity for Ussie to have some confidence in Against the effects, Maxi, we will not take Aaron Finch either, we will not take Shaun Marsh, we have spent some time in India, we wanted to give other opportunities to others. "
Then, at that moment, it seemed that Maxwell was still in the competition for being part of the test squad to go to the UAE, but with a more subdued grip on a tour dock than you might otherwise have thought. What happened in the middle, though, was the race score of Khawaja, Travis Head and also Marnus Labuschagne in the first of Australia's two first-class matches. This was apparently enough to squeeze them all in front of Maxwell in the Test-match setting. Apparently, Shaun, Mitchell Marsh and Finch were in the United Arab Emirates squad, as Langer said. Then they asked Maxwell to get more scores, then they left because others had the opportunity to do it before him.
"I am really delighted with Aaron Finch, one thing we ask our players to do is act and in white-ball cricket, he is as player-like as there is in the world right now," he said. Langer "What I know about Aaron Finch is that he scores hundreds and in Cricket that is very important, you have to score hundreds, and he is also one of the main leaders of the group and having him on the team, I know he has waited a long time for Fortunately, like a Mike Hussey or a George Bailey or a Chris Rogers, it can have an impact on the test cricket and white-ball cricket.
"Marnus Labuschagne, it's like Cameron Bancroft in the fact that I would literally do anything to play cricket in Australia. He loves to play cricket. Your work ethic is as good as anybody. For all I know about him, I've only seen him a couple of times, but all I hear about him on the Australia A tour and in Queensland is that he's one of those guys that is like the heartbeat of the team, as a Cameron Bancroft in terms of work ethic, desire, approach. So he's another great person to have on the team. "
These brilliant character references will, of course, lead to other questions about Maxwell, in terms of whether the current Australian configuration considers him the type of cricketer around. To build a new team, his underperformance in England, when he was among the most experienced members of the ODI batting order, could not have helped create an impression of reliability, but at a time when the batting talent locker is almost naked for Australia, the omission of Maxwell seems an even greater bet than it would have been his inclusion.
He is no longer consumed by the idea of resuming his race in the Test-match against Pakistan, Maxwell will now become Victoria in the competitions of 50 and Sheffield Shield, this summer can lead to the moment when Maxwell and others discover if that line of "get more hundreds" is genuine, or just one way of letting it fall smoothly that your services are not required.