It took all summer but Glenn Maxwell has seemingly poured cold water on any rift with Australian coach Justin Langer – at least on the white-ball side of the game.
Last month a public back-and-forth took place between Maxwell and Langer over the batsman’s continued absence from the Test team.
In the weeks that followed another debate took place after the Victorian was shoved down to No.7 in the batting order for three ODIs against India.
He subsequently arrived at the crease in the 48th over (making 11 runs off five balls), the 37th (48 off 37) and the 30th (26 off 19).
His relative inability to build a score was in stark contrast to his role at the 2015 Cricket World Cup, when he batted at four, five and six and recorded highlight scores of 88, 102, 66 and 44 not out.
But with Australia’s defence of the trophy just months away, Maxwell has put the questioning aside with a balanced view on his role in the side.
“Look, the way we are setting up, I don’t think I am wasted,” he said of his position as the No.7 batsman.
“The way we were trying to set up our team (in recent series) was pretty valid. I hadn’t done enough to warrant a place in that top four or five.
“I missed my opportunities. That came down to me as a player. I genuinely missed opportunities to play well for my country and play well for my spot.
“They gave me opportunities to bat second drop in practice games before the England ODI series (last year) but I unfortunately didn’t make the most of it and I found myself back down the order. That can be how the game goes sometimes.”
Maxwell, who was named T20 International player of the year at the Australian cricket awards on Monday night, believes there is little difference between the middle-order positions.
Instead, how those above him perform is far more important.
“I played a similiar role at the (2015) World Cup and was able to be flexible because of the success of the top order and the way they scored their runs,” he said.
“It’s all well and good getting hundreds off 100 balls but the way our top order was going back in the World Cup, they were getting fast hundreds. They were explosive starters, we were ahead of six runs an over, we were (striking at) 6.5 runs an over after 25 overs.
“We had the freedom to go: ‘You know what, we can make this a cruisy win or a cruisy last 15 overs by sending ‘Maxi’ in and continue that or we can consolidate with different batters and make sure we can get a certain total’.
“We always played an aggressive route back then. I suppose that played into my hands by having a successful top order which is what we had back then.”
In all likelihood David Warner and Steve Smith will return to the XI for the World Cup in England, presuming they overcome respective elbow injuries.
But even with a familiar line-up, this version of the Australian team must evolve from 2015 after indifferent if not disappointing ODI results in recent times.
“I think this team is going to need to take the game on, not so much take the game on but take it on in the way that it is cricket smart,” he said.
“It is good cricket shots still but it’s a way of dominating the opposition. It’s a solid way of playing one-day cricket.
“The way we went about one-day cricket in 2015, it was just solid the whole way through. There was consistency, there was big risk but they didn’t feel like risks when they were happening.
“I think if we are going to win this World Cup, we need to be able to play with freedom and be able to express that.”
The Australians, including Maxwell, will soon depart for India to play two T20s and five ODIs from February 24 to March 13.
Before then the 30-year-old will lead the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League finals later this week.