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Pak v Australia: Waugh says, would have picked Glenn Maxwell in Test side

Suspensions of Smith, Warner and Bancroft have affected the side

Dubai.

Australia is staring down the barrel of a crushing defeat against Pakistan in first Test in Dubai. Formar Aussie cricketer Mark Waugh is not at all happy with the situation.

He weighed in on some of the selection decisions, while also offering a damning indictment on the quality of batsmen Australia currently has.

In addition to arguing for Maxwell’s inclusion, Waugh said the current players in the UAE are "about the best we’ve got at the moment," reflecting the gap in quality that the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have left.

Only openers Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch have offered runs in both innings in the first Test, with Khawaja adding a half century to his first innings score of 85.

Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, have scored just 19 runs across their combined four innings as Australia heads into day five three wickets down and chasing another 326 to win.

Meanwhile, Maxwell, who was one of the biggest omissions from the first Australian Test squad since the ball tampering scandal, was back in Australia helping Victoria claim the JLT Cup with a win over Tasmania in the final on Wednesday.

Waugh, who stepped down from his role as selector to take up a full time job commentating for Fox Sports, said it’s not yet time to panic, but argued for Maxwell’s inclusion.

"It’s tough because we lost our two best batsmen (Smith and Warner), haven’t we – three including Bancroft," the 128 Test veteran said on Fox Sports.

"There’s only a certain pool of players that are good enough to play Test cricket.

"It’s not the time to panic, I don’t think there are many players there that would make a big difference. The only player I would have picked is Glenn Maxwell, that’s not there.

"I think he’s a guy with ability, he can change the game. He’s a good player of spin, he can actually take the attack to the bowling side.

"So that’s the only guy I would have that’s not there.

"Maybe you can bring back Matt Renshaw for the second Test.

"But all the other guys? That’s about the best we’ve got at the moment."

Maxwell has played all seven of his Tests either in the UAE or on the subcontinent, with his last coming in a seven wicket win over Bangladesh in September 2017.

Calls for his inclusion in the Test team started as early as day two as the Australian line-up wilted under the hot Dubai sun. After Khawaja and Finch set up a nice platform with an opening stand of 142, the tourists lost 10 wickets for just 60 runs.

Their first innings total of 202 was a massive 280 behind Pakistan and the Aussies were set a target of 462 with well over a day to bat.

Finch and Khawaja got their side off to a nice start in the second innings, reaching 87 before some inspired bowling from Mohammad Abbas saw Finch leave for 49 before both Marsh brothers left without troubling the scorers.

Australia will resume on day five with Khawaja on 50 and debutant Travis Head on 34.

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