All-rounder Glenn Maxwell relishing dual roles for Australia
AUSTRALIAN all-rounder Glenn Maxwell says the ICC's fielding restriction rule - allowing just four men outside the circle after the first 15 overs, instead of five - has challenged him to be a better off-spin bowler.
The rule change was one of the main reasons Australia's national selection panel left Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon out of the World Cup squad and instead went for the variation of left-arm orthodox bowler Xavier Doherty.
Doherty did not play in Australia's World Cup opener - a 111-run thrashing of England at the MCG last Saturday - leaving Maxwell as the only recognised spinner in the team.
The Victorian bowled four overs, taking no wickets for 33 runs, after hammering 66 off just 40 balls with the bat.
"I think you have to do your homework more on certain batters - who reverse sweeps, who goes inside out over cover," Maxwell said of the fielding restrictions brought in by the world governing body in late 2012.
"When you had five out, you knew what you had to do.
"The only real decision you had to make was whether you wanted a slip or not.
"Now you have to think about it and do your homework."
Despite his dashing innings against England, Maxwell still sees himself as a genuine all-rounder, and he is likely to again be the sole spinner when Australia tackles Bangladesh on the pace-friendly Gabba on Saturday.
"I prepare in the nets as if I'm going to bowl 10 overs," he said. "With that in mind I do feel like I'm a bowler in this team, especially last game when we only had myself as the spinner."
The only selection change expected is the inclusion of skipper Michael Clarke - most likely in place of acting captain George Bailey.
Maxwell said he had no doubt Clarke would lead the team on Saturday, meeting the deadline he had been given by Cricket Australia following hamstring surgery last December.
"He is hitting the ball beautifully," Maxwell said.
"He's even bowling a bit ... he's moving really well.
"He's ready for this game - there are no doubts about that.
"It's been great to see how hard he's been working."
Maxwell said although the weather forecast for the next few days was not good, the team was preparing for a 50-over game.
"Hopefully it'll clear up a bit by Saturday," he said.
"All we need is 20 overs each."