Maxwell, Finch can star in Tests, says Gillespie

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Sydney, March 25 (IANS) Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie on Wednesday said Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell can be stars in the Test arena if given the chance.

Australia’s Maxwell has played three Tests – two in India in 2013 and one against Pakistan in 2014 – while Finch hasn’t yet earned a Test debut.

Former Test quick Gillespie said the packed international schedule and a shortage of first-class cricket is the main obstacle facing the Victorian duo in their push for a spot in Australia’s Test XI.

“I’m a massive fan of both those lads. I’m convinced they can both have long careers in the Baggy Green. They just need an extended opportunity,” Gillespie was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA).

Commitments with Australia’s One-Day-International (ODI) side in a World Cup year has restricted both Finch and Maxwell to just two Bupa Sheffield Shield matches this season, one of which was abandoned after the first day due to the passing of Phillip Hughes.

The 39-year-old said it can be tough to break into a Test side without performances in domestic season.

“It can be tough to break into a Test side and you have to put performances in domestically,” Gillespie said.

“The biggest challenge is the amount of first-class cricket these guys play, it could potentially be a bit of a hindrance.”

He further added, “Finch will play a lot of four-day cricket, and he’ll do very well. So, it’s a really good chance to push his case to try and break into that Test team.”

Maxwell and Finch are two of the most destructive players in world cricket and are known to thrill and frustrate in equal measure.

“Maxwell, he’s had his up and downs in a short Test career, but what we’ve seen is when he’s been backed in 50-over and T20 cricket, he’s been backed to the hilt,” Gillespie said.

“There’ll be times when he doesn’t come off; that’s the nature of how he plays. But I think in Test cricket in time we’re going to see a pretty special cricketer, in my view.”

While a Baggy Green is the ultimate goal for Finch and Maxwell, their more immediate concern is Australia’s World Cup semi-final against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday.

Both players can draw on good form against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side from earlier in the summer. Finch scored a match-winning 96 against them at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in January while Maxwell smashed 122 from just 57 balls in a World Cup warm-up match in Adelaide.

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