2019 World Cup: Mitchell Johnson wants Glenn Maxwell to captain Australia

Sudhir Gupta 19:50 20/01/2019
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Mitchell Johnson wants Glenn Maxwell (l) to take over from Aaron Finch (r).

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been overlooked for Test duties despite being among the runs in Sheffield Shield and has been forced to bat all the way down at No7 in the ODI team.

But even as Maxwell wonders about his role and position in Australian cricket, his former team-mate Mitchell Johnson has gone ahead and picked Maxwell as the captain for the 2019 World Cup in England.

Australia have struggled in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner with replacement skipper Aaron Finch completely out of touch during the three-match ODI series against India which the men in green and gold lost.

Smith can’t take up captaincy for a year after his suspension following the ball-tampering scandal expires and Warner has been barred from leadership for life. With Finch no longer a certainty as captain or even batsman, Australia need someone with form and leadership qualities. Johnson believes Maxwell is the man.

“My decision to pick Glenn Maxwell as captain might raise eyebrows,” Johnson wrote for Perth Now.

Maxwell is currently the captain of Big Bash franchise Melbourne Stars and Johnson said he has the qualities to lead the Australian team during uncertain times.

“He might not be your typical first-choice captain, though clearly Melbourne Stars have seen something in Maxwell. Leadership has helped him mature, helped to settle him and bring the best out of him.

“I think we need our sportsmen to have a certain presence and have the confidence to give their opinion in a team environment and he definitely does that. More importantly, Maxwell is a cricket tragic who loves the game and thinks deeply about it.”

Johnson and Maxwell were part of the 2015 World Cup winning side and also played together for Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.

“I spent a lot of time with Maxwell in the IPL at both Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab and he was always very vocal in team meetings… particularly with planning such as fielding positions for certain players. He knows opposition players very well and he doesn’t forget much.

“He reads the game well and that’s essential for a captain. Maxi is not a leader who will just let things roll on. He thinks outside the square. He is 30 now and knows the game inside out.”

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