Retired Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has picked allrounder Glenn Maxwell as his captain for Australia’s 2019 World Cup squad. The mega event is scheduled to be played in England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019. 

Johnson, in his column for Perth Now, wrote that Maxwell would be a great choice for the captain of the team for the upcoming mega event. Maxwell has been leading Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL); which has helped him to grow as a cricketer as well.

“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,” former pace spearhead wrote in his column. “He might not be your typical first-choice captain, though clearly Melbourne Stars have seen something in Maxwell. Leadership has helped him mature, helped to settle him and bring the best out of him. More importantly, Maxwell is a cricket tragic who loves the game and thinks deeply about it,” added Johnson.

Johnson and Maxwell both played an important role in Australia’s World Cup win in 2015 at home. Also, Johnson played alongside Maxwell in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well for Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. Moreover, Johnson expressed how Maxwell used to give ideas during team meetings and help in making strategies against the opposition.

“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 doesn’t forget much,” wrote Johnson.

“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.”

However, Johnson wrote that due to captaincy pressure, Finch isn’t able to perform well. He can perform brilliantly if the pressure isn’t there as he is a world-class player.

“A change in captain would also help take some pressure off struggling opener Aaron Finch. I’ve retained Finch in my squad as a batsman because he has had some excellent performances in England previously,” Johnson added. 

Australia squad as chosen by Mitchell Johnson:

Glenn Maxwell (C), Usman Khawaja (VC), 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

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