Glenn Maxwell may have done enough to convince national selectors he’s their man for the Ashes, posting another half-century in Victoria’s Sheffield Shield draw with South Australia.
Chasing 348 to win, the Bushrangers survived a perilous final session at the MCG to finish on 8-273.
After scoring 60 in the first innings, Maxwell delivered another assured knock, cracking two sixes and five fours before being trapped lbw on 64 by a Joe Mennie yorker.
The 29-year-old was the best performed of the leading candidates to bat at No.6 for the first Test beginning in Brisbane on November 23.
Key rival Hilton Cartwright made a pair of ducks during Western Australia’s Shield clash with NSW at Sydney’s Hurstville Oval.
Veteran WA batsman Shaun Marsh scored a timely 91 but has generally been preferred as a top-order option.
South Australia’s Jake Lehmann is a potential bolter after scoring 103 and 93 but the 25-year-old may be seen as too inexperienced to throw into the Ashes cauldron.
Test teammate and Victorian skipper Peter Handscomb said Maxwell had shown he deserved to keep his spot.
“He’s looking really good, he’s balanced and he’s sticking to his gameplan,” Handscomb said.
“He’s been working that hard and he wants to keep that spot, and I see no reason why he can’t but he’s got to keep making runs.
“He’s done a good job now and he has to do it again next week.”
Maxwell and Handscomb (58) combined for a 104-run partnership as the Bushrangers went to tea at 3-157.