Wasted talent: The chat that helped Maxi turn it around
CRICKET: Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has defended his training habits in the wake of fierce public criticism to explain his controversial omission from the one-day squad - and revealed it was an ex-New Zealand skipper who has helped him turn it all around.
In the past 12 months, Maxwell has lost his place in both the Test and ODI teams, during a period in which he admitted his work ethic had varied.
The issue was made public when Australian captain Steve Smith, speaking immediately after Maxwell's exclusion from the ODI squad was confirmed, questioned the all-rounder's application to training, suggesting he needed to "train smarter" in order to earn a recall.
The pair met up for coffee to smooth the waters, and Maxwell returned for the final ODI of the series - in which he scored a brisk 34 as Australia lost by 12 runs.
While the talented star, often described as the team's X-factor, took on board much of what Smith had to say, he did defend his training regimen.
Maxwell was recalled to the Test team on last year's four-Test tour of India following a mid-series injury to Mitch Marsh and responded with a breakthrough, maiden Test century in Ranchi while batting alongside Steve Smith.
"I thought my training was second to none over there, and probably the reason I was able to get back in the Test team when Mitch Marsh got injured and I was able to make the most of that opportunity," Maxwell told SEN radio.
"I've felt like since then, my work ethic has been solid and I've been able to work on specific parts of my game that are required for upcoming tours.
"I don't think it's any surprise that I've had the results that have followed this year and I'll continue to work on that."
Maxwell cited a sit-down with Melbourne Stars coach, and champion New Zealand batsman, Stephen Fleming as the catalyst behind his change in mindset when it came to training, with a strong focus on his perception around the cricketing world.
"Training and setting the example was probably one of the first things that I started to work on," Maxwell said.
"He explained how I was perceived from outside, having not worked with me before.
"I tried to change that as quick as I could. I think that was the perfect lead-in for me to get my Test spot back in India and having those discussions off the field with guys who I respect and have played at the highest level has really worked for me."
Maxwell conceded he'd wasted his talent in his early years and that he'd "frustrated a lot of people" along the way.
"I probably did waste my talent early on. I was probably a bit naive about what I could do and how successful I could be playing for Australia," he added.
"I know it probably frustrated a lot of people and I know it frustrated myself and my family.
"To be able to start putting some of that talent, which is probably one of the worst words, and potential, which is one of the other worst words, together into some runs this summer, (has been) probably 12-18 months of hard work."