Finch out, Maxwell's ODI call-up another twist

Just three weeks after being dropped and publicly told he needed to train smarter, Glenn Maxwell has been brought back into the fold as Australia seek to end their woeful one-day form.

In a further twist to what has been another curious season in Maxwell's eventful career, the Victorian batsman headed to Adelaide on Thursday, on standby for opener Aaron Finch, who is set to miss Friday's ODI between Australia and England.

Maxwell was dropped from both Australia's Test and ODI sides this summer, but has been called up as a reserve following injuries to batsmen in both forms of the game. He flew to Brisbane before the first Ashes Test when Shaun Marsh and David Warner were both under injury clouds.

Maxwell's ODI omission followed a poor run of form in that format, although he has been in good touch with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League and is the leading run scorer in this season's Sheffield Shield.

Rather than relying solely on Maxwell's diminished ODI numbers to explain his axing, Australia captain Steve Smith said Maxwell needed to train "a little bit smarter". The pair caught up in Melbourne to clear the air over the comments, although neither was willing to open up about the meeting.

Maxwell was this week named in Australia's Twenty20 squad for an upcoming tri-series against England and New Zealand, and hits the one-day squad in top form, having blasted 84 from 47 balls for the Stars against the Sydney Sixers this week, even though he was impaired by conjunctivitis and a sore neck.

He looks no guarantee to play on Friday though, with South Australian Travis Head, who was also dropped after consecutive failures against England, tipped to take the opener's slot. Cameron White will keep his spot in the XI, although the veteran is aware another failure could spell the end of his international career.

Australia have lost 10 of their last 11 completed ODIs, three of those against England in this series, sparking a review into their one-day operations.

Australia are seeking to avoid their first ever whitewash in a home bilateral ODI series, with games in Adelaide (Friday) and Perth (Sunday) to come.

Finch was one of Australia's few shining lights, making centuries in the first two games. He has not yet been ruled out of Sunday's game. His injury is expected to lead to a recall for Head, who was dropped for game three of the series in Sydney. Head scored a century in the Adelaide Oval Australia Day ODI a year ago against Pakistan.

Speaking on Thursday, Head said he looked back at that day fondly. "It was a special day to play my first one-day fixture in Adelaide and then to get some runs," Head said.

However, he said he had not been told if he would be playing. "Hopefully that opportunity comes, I'm not quite sure yet," Head said.

"If I get my opportunity tomorrow, hopefully I can do the same [as last year]. It's a beautiful batting wicket and plenty of runs out there.

"I feel like I have been playing well in the Big Bash but I have been disappointed in the way I have started in this series.

"I'm happy to bat wherever ??? as high as I can bat is nice. I think everyone in world cricket would say the same thing in white-ball cricket ??? bat as high as they possibly can.

"But I'm just happy to get my opportunity again after a pretty disappointing first two games."

With the 2019 World Cup in England less than 18 months away, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns flagged change in Australia's one-day cricket.

"With what's happened recently we are reviewing how we're actually playing the game and type of player that's required in the one-day format," Hohns said this week.

"We haven't played well in this series, we don't seem to have been able to put it all together on the one day, there has been something lacking."

This story Finch out, Maxwell's ODI call-up another twist first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.