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Maxwell should bat No.6 for Ashes: Hodge

Former Australian Test batsman Brad Hodge says Glenn Maxwell should be given first crack at the No.6 spot for the Ashes.

Maxwell should bat No.6 for Ashes: Hodge

Former Australian Test batsman Brad Hodge says Glenn Maxwell should be given first crack at the No.6 spot for the Ashes.

Brad Hodge has joined the chorus of former Test players urging selectors to stick with Glenn Maxwell for the Ashes.

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Who will be picked at No.6 appears to be the greatest unknown ahead of the squad for the first Test being named on Friday.


The two most recent occupants are Maxwell and Western Australia's Hilton Cartwright.

But the door could still be ajar for a bolter such as WA's Cameron Bancroft, who has racked up several big scores in the Sheffield Shield.

Hodge, who has signed with Melbourne Renegades for the next Big Bash season, says fellow Victorian Maxwell has shown he is capable of thriving under adversity.

"I think he's earned the opportunity," Hodge said on Tuesday.

"No one has jumped out of their skin to try and take that position.

"I definitely think he's got the technique to come in at 4-100 when Australia's under pressure.

"That's the one thing people need to clarify. It's not coming in at 4-270 when you're already in front, it's coming in under pressure, and that's one of the things selectors will probably look at."

Test greats Shane Warne and Michael Slater both recently declared Maxwell deserved to play in his first Test series on home soil.

Hodge was one of Australia's most prolific first-class run scorers before his retirement in 2009 but struggled to find favour with selectors and made just six Test appearances.

The decision by Australian skipper Steve Smith and coach Darren Lehmann to effectively declare Test spots vacant has led to a pressure-cooker environment in domestic cricket ahead of the Ashes.

But Hodge said the incumbents would have been well aware of the pressure they were under.

"I don't think you can hide from statistics over the last couple of years that No.6 and No.7 haven't given Australia what they want," he said.

"I think what Steve said is pretty much spot-on. It's good to create an environment with some competitive nature and generally those people who are ready for it will stand up and get the job done."


AAP




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