With the first One-Day international between Australia and England just a few days away, questions are circling around explosive allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who was not included in the Australian squad for the series. With explosive batsman Chris Lynn suffering a calf injury, the selectors have a decision to make on whether Maxwell, who was publicly criticised by skipper Steve Smith for being inconsistent, will make a return to the team or not.

But the axed cricketer’s hopes to make it to the squad were given a boost on Wednesday with fellow teammate Aaron Finch backing his selection. Speaking to the reporters in Melbourne, Finch said, “He’s playing some really good cricket at the moment. The way that he’s batting is as good as I’ve seen him in terms of his tempo.”

The 31-year-old added that the right-handed batsman has worked on pacing his innings. “He’s probably changed a little bit from being all guns blazing from the first ball to giving himself a little bit of time. I suppose the Melbourne Stars have been losing a few early wickets, and that’s allowed him to bat for a bit longer before he has to take a risk,” he said.

The opening-batsman added that Maxwell will be ready for the task in case he is given the opportunity. “If the opportunity comes he’ll take it with both hands and perform well again.”

Maxwell scored two fifties in his last three Big Bash League innings and was also the top-scorer in the JLT Sheffield Shield at the mid-season break. Finch praised Maxwell’s run-scoring form and said, “In the lead-up to the Shield season his training was fantastic. I think his results have reflected that over the last couple of months in terms of just the pure output of runs. Now he’s getting runs in the T20s as well, and consistent runs, which is one part he probably would have liked to have addressed a bit earlier, just make sure when he is in good form he’s backing that up,” he said.

The first One-Day International (ODI) between Australia and England will be played on Sunday at MCG.