THE secret is out and Victorian Glenn Maxwell will get to push his Ashes claims by batting at number three in the Sheffield Shield opener today.
Bushrangers coach Andrew McDonald had been loathed to reveal his plans for the incumbent Test number six, although new Victorian captain Peter Handscomb said on Tuesday Maxwell would bat "in the top four".
But after arriving in Brisbane yesterday for the clash with Queensland at the Gabba, McDonald finally settled on where Maxwell would best suit the Vics, and how he could also best push his Test claims.
"We decided yesterday when we got up here," McDonald told RSN this morning.
"I wasn't fibbing. We hadn't got up here, we hadn't settled our line-up, now we have.
"He's really excited, batting at number three you do get more opportunities in the game.
"We think he is technically good enough to bat in that position and we'll back him."
Maxwell has made 277 in the past four Tests for Australia batting at number six, including a maiden Test century in india.
But selectors, captain Steve Smith and coach Darren Lehmann have all declared that runs in the opening rounds of the Sheffield Shield could determine who wears the baggy green at the Gabba.
"It's a great opportunity for everyone to put their hand up over the next three rounds of Shield cricket ... and really push their case," Lehmann told radio station 5AA.
"These three Shield rounds are high pressure ... so if someone preforms really well in these three games then it's going to go a good long way to making the Test squad.
"It's not often we get three (Shield games before the first Test) ... we should have a good idea of who we want."
The Shield clash at the Gabba is a day/night affair and starts at 2pm today Melbourne time.
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