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Test Cricket or IPL? Glenn Maxwell Decided

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All-rounder Glenn Maxwell has said he will turn his back on the lucrative Indian Premier League next year and play a full season of English county cricket in a bid to regain his spot in the Australian Test side.

The hard-hitting 30-year-old played the last of his seven Tests against Bangladesh in September 2017 and missed out on a spot in the squad for the ongoing four-match series against India.

Maxwell will join up with former Australia Test opener Joe Burns and his former World Cup-winning team mate James Faulkner at Lancashire, and play all three formats with the county side.

“This is a pretty clear sign I still want to play Test cricket,” Maxwell told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper on Wednesday. “To knock back a chance to play IPL was a big decision, and a tough decision. It’s not something you make lightly, but the thought of playing Test cricket again still burns deep. I desperately want to get back out there and I still think I have a lot to offer the Australian Test team.”

Maxwell has reaped millions of dollars playing in the IPL but had a poor tournament with Delhi Daredevils this year and was released by the franchise last month.

He was controversially overlooked for the tour squad to play Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, beaten out by four uncapped players.

Tim Paine’s Australia are 1-0 down in the four-Test series against India after losing by 31 runs in Adelaide on Monday. The second test starts in Perth on Friday.

Australia need more Lyon-hearted performances

In a once-dominant team humbled by a cheating scandal and still racked with doubts about its identity, spinner Nathan Lyon has been a reassuring throwback to an age of hard-bitten Australian cricketers who talked the talk and walked the walk.

Nathan Lyon of Australia holds the ball up to the crowd after taking 6 wickets during day four of the First Test match in the series between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval on December 09, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

After India completed a 31-run victory in the series-opener on Monday, few of captain Tim Paine’s players will report for duty at the Perth second Test with enhanced reputations.

Lyon, however, is not one of them as he burnished his stature at Adelaide Oval by anchoring a gritty tail-end push for a final day victory after he had taken eight wickets with the ball.

Australia may have failed in their bid to pull off an unlikely victory, but Lyon ended the match unbeaten on 38 as he ran out of partners at a venue where he wore overalls as a groundsman eight years ago.

A cult hero in Australia, the 31-year-old has been nicknamed the ‘GOAT’ — “Greatest of All Time” — for good reason. His 326 test wickets is a record for an Australian off-spinner, more than double the 141 taken by Hugh Trumble more than a century ago.

But the man known as “Gazza” to his teammates has become much more than a sum of his statistics, and seems to add a new string to his bow every season.

Langer ready for pacey track in second India Test

Australia coach Justin Langer said Wednesday he expected a pacey wicket at the new Perth Stadium for the second Test against India and declared “pretty boy” captain Tim Paine “ready to go” despite injury.

Australia are looking to avenge a 31-run defeat in Adelaide to level the four-Test series but Langer admitted there was some uncertainty over the surface in Perth.

The Test will be the first played at the new stadium and Langer said it appeared the wicket was similar to the fast track which made its predecessor, the WACA, a haven for pace bowlers.

“I´m really fascinated and can´t wait to see what the wicket brings,” he told reporters. “There´s only been one four-day game in its history.

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