Maxwell likely to skip India ODIs ahead of World Cup

Star Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has admitted that he could miss his side’s upcoming ODI series against India and may enter this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup with very little cricket under his belt.

Maxwell is still battling ankle soreness from the leg injury he suffered at a friend’s birthday party last year and is currently in Australia awaiting the birth of his first child.

While Maxwell is still harbouring aspirations of making a fleeting appearance during Australia’s ODI series in India later this month, the 34-year-old maintains being fit for the World Cup is his primary focus.

“I still want to play some part of that India series. But I’m not feeling any pressure on it. The selectors and the staff have been brilliant with me as well. They don’t want to put too much pressure on me to sort of set that date because they know they’ve got a bit of extra time before the World Cup. So, instead of rushing it and probably putting myself a week or two behind, being able to give myself extra time and make sure we get through the whole tournament, ” Maxwell said.

A veteran of Australia’s two most recent World Cup campaigns in 2015 and 2019, Maxwell is a vital cog for the five-time champions given his ability to score quickly and contribute with the bat, ball and in the field.

Maxwell has not played for his country since he featured in an ODI against India in Wankhede in March and hasn’t taken the field at any level since making a one-off appearance in an English County Championship match for Warwickshire at the start of July.

He was set to play in the T20I component of Australia’s ongoing tour of South Africa, but soreness around his ankle saw him return home.

The 34-year-old, who still carries a metal plate in his left leg after fracturing his fibula in a freak birthday-party accident last November, was forced to fly home from South Africa early as his the ankle flared up after the team’s first training session.

“I don’t think I could have predicted how sore I was going to be once I got to South Africa. But it was one of those things. Even when I went to train that day, I still felt fine. There was nothing wrong. Something just got impinged. I think one of the tendons around my ankle was a little bit inflamed, there’s a bit of swelling, so it kept on catching which meant it just gave me a bit of pain,” Maxwell said.

“Hopefully, the cortisone takes care of that and I can get back up and running to where I was just before I went to South Africa. We’ve probably just got to be a bit smarter going forward. Making sure that my preparation is a bit more managed, I think leading into a flight like that. I’m already back in the gym, so I’ll probably get back into full training probably this week, so it won’t be a long turnaround. It’s just knowing that I’m not over the hurdle of the original injury yet.”

The Cricket Australia medical team adopted a conservative approach by sending Maxwell home given the World Cup showpiece event is only weeks away.

After the ODI series against India, Australia will play Netherlands and Pakistan in the World Cup warm matches on September 30 and October 3 respectively.

Australia open their campaign against hosts India in Chennai on October 8.

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