March 17, 2017 / 1:43 PM / 10 months ago

Maxwell doubted test future, now wants to emulate Smith

RANCHI, India (Reuters) - Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell doubted whether he would play test cricket again but he is now looking to emulate his captain Steve Smith, the 28-year-old said on Friday.

Mitchell Marsh’s shoulder injury ahead of the third test against India opened an unlikely door for Maxwell, who had played the last of his three tests in the United Arab Emirates in 2014.

Australia’s limited-overs specialist grabbed the opportunity with both hands, swapping pyrotechnics for patience to register his maiden test century at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium.

“I didn’t want to waste the opportunity, didn’t want to make it my last test that’s for sure,” Maxwell told reporters after scoring 104 and featuring in a series-high 191-run partnership with Smith.

“I know how bad it felt when I played that last game in Dubai and didn’t play again. I just wanted to make it count.”

Maxwell, nicknamed “The Big Show”, has become a key part of Australia’s limited-overs sides but many people believed he lacked the temperament to succeed in test cricket.

Cricket - India v Australia - Third Test cricket match - Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium, Ranchi, India - 17/03/17 - Australia's Glenn Maxwell celebrates his century as his team captain Steven Smith (L) watches. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

“I was in a place where I doubted whether I’d play test cricket again, whether I’d have a chance to put the cap back on,” he said.

He celebrated his return in style and looked overwhelmed after bringing up his hundred, embracing Smith in a bear-hug and kissing the badge on the helmet.

“I thought about it all night. I went through about 300 to 400 different scenarios that could’ve happened the next day, most of them weren’t good,” he said.

“So much emotion fell out of me as soon as I got that hundred. Even thinking about it now I’ve got a frog in my throat.”

Maxwell knew he would have to transform himself if he were to nail down the number six spot and he drew inspiration from his captain who is now the team’s batting mainstay.

”When he came into the team, he was a leg-spinning all-rounder batting at eight or nine. So what a turnaround he’s had.

“I know that’s a long way off, but I’d love to be able to follow in his footsteps and change my career from what I started to as well.”

Editing by Ed Osmond

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