Mitchell Johnson advocates Maxwell as Australia's captain for the 2019 World Cup

Aaron Finch has failed to change his team's fortunes in white-ball cricket, so far.

The explosive right-hander batted quite well against India | Getty

Mitchell Johnson has said that Glenn Maxwell is widely "misunderstood" as a player but he has the potential to captain Australia during the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. 

Former pacer feels that the explosive right-hander has what it takes to push his team forward in white-ball cricket and maybe not, Aaron Finch - the current limited overs skipper.  

"My decision to pick Glenn Maxwell as captain might raise eyebrows. But having played with him both for Australia and in the Indian Premier League, I can say that this polarising cricketer is misunderstood," Johnson, who retired from International cricket in 2015, wrote in a column for Perth Now where he also picked his Australian World Cup squad.  

"He might not be your typical first-choice captain, though clearly, Melbourne Stars(BBL franchise) 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. 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," he added. 

Johnson then selected Usman Khawaja as the vice-captain and surprisingly didn't feature Josh Hazlewood among his five speedsters. 

He also had no place for wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey and picked D'Arcy Short to open alongside David Warner handing over wicketkeeping duties to Peter Handscomb. 

"Hazlewood hasn't played a lot of one-day cricket in recent times and I decided the five quicks I selected provided the best balance," Johnson further noted, "I've made another big call with the wicketkeeping position and opted to overlook incumbent gloveman and vice-captain Alex Carey. Carey is an excellent 'keeper, however, I remain unconvinced about his batting."

"He has been opening the batting, but that will not be required should Warner be picked after his 12-month suspension. D'Arcy Short is also a more appealing option for me at the top of the order."

"Handscomb offers a great package as the specialist 'keeper. He is batting well in the shorter formats and I don't see giving him the gloves as a compromise. His Victorian teammates rate his keeping and he wouldn't have to juggle the job with batting high in the order and could instead add depth at No. 7," he concluded. 

Mitchell Johnson's squad for Australia's 2019 World Cup campaign:- Glenn Maxwell (capt), Usman Khawaja (vice-capt), Aaron Finch, David Warner, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, AJ Tye, Adam Zampa.


By Kashish Chadha - 20 Jan, 2019

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