Glenn Maxwell should lead Australia at World Cup 2019, says Mitchell Johnson

first_imgFormer Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has said he believes Glenn Maxwell will be the ideal candidate to lead Australia at the Cricket World Cup, starting May 30 in England.Revealing that Maxwell had been quite vocal in team meetings at Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab during his Indian Premier League (IPL) stints, Johnson said Maxwell loves thinking about the game and has a presence in the dressing room to influence his teammates.Johnson’s surprising suggestion comes even as Maxwell is leading Melbourne Stars in the ongoing Big Bash League season. Apart from leading the team well, the all-rounder has made some useful contributions with both the bat and the ball as the Stars are on the fifth spot of the eight-team table with four wins from nine matches.Maxwell also pulled out of the IPL 2019 auction last month in order to focus on the preparations in the lead up to the World Cup and the much-anticipated Ashes series that follows the showpiece event in England.Maxwell is a cricket tragic, reads the game well: Johnson”My decision to pick Glenn Maxwell as captain might raise eyebrows,” Johnson wrote in his column for Perth Now.”But having played with him both for Australia and in the Indian Premier League, I can say that this polarising cricketer is misunderstood. 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.advertisement”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.”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, either. He thinks outside the square. He is 30 now and knows the game inside out.”Australia are currently undergoing a crisis in the absence of their former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner as the duo were banned in March last year over the infamous ball-tampering scandal. The reigning world champions have only won four of their last 24 completed matches.Doubts remain over the returns of Smith and Warner for the World Cup as both the players suffered elbow injuries during the ongoing season of Bangladesh Premier League. While Smith is all set to undergo surgery on his injured elbow, Warner is expected to be out for the remainder of the BPL season.Australia suffered their first-ever bilateral series defeat at home to India on Friday, days after their Test series defeat to the Asian giants. Aaron Finch, who was leading the ODI side, struggled to put bat to ball and the Johnson believes Maxwell will be able to take the pressure off the Australia opener if he is handed the captain’s role.Australia, who will host Sri Lanka in a two-Test series, will be touring the UAE (Pakistan series) and India for limited-overs series ahead of the World Cup.Also Read | 2019 World Cup: India looking at Rishabh Pant as backup top-order batsmanAlso Read | Pujara hundreds, Pant banter and Dhoni 2.0: Recapping India’s historic Australia tourAlso Read | Cricket a special part of my life but not the most important thing: Virat KohliAlso See:last_img read more