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Maddinson improves defence, now eyes runs

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Laine Clark

Defence is no longer a problem for Australian rookie batsman Nic Maddinson.

Now for his next dilemma - getting off the mark.

Maddinson suffered a nightmare Test debut when he was bowled for a 12-ball duck by South Africa's Kagiso Rabada last month in Adelaide.

It was a wonderful delivery by an in-form quick using a pink ball under lights.

Yet, Maddinson has worked hard on his defence to avoid a repeat in the first Test against Pakistan starting on Thursday in Brisbane.

"I've been impressed with the way that he's been able to work on his defence and play with a lot softer hands," Australian captain Steve Smith said.

"We all know he can play that expansive style of game - just his defence probably needed some work.

"I think he's got it in a good place at the moment."

Cynics could argue Maddinson might be satisfied with simply earning his first Test run after enjoying a reprieve against Pakistan.

But, Maddinson knows he needs runs - and lots of them - to remain in the side.

For the moment, Smith has NSW teammate Maddinson's back.

Smith revealed he gave Maddinson the thumbs up after national selectors also enquired about Kurtis Patterson before last month's Adelaide day-night Test against the Proteas.

"I sort of gave my advice (to selectors)," Smith said.

"There were probably two players at NSW that were, I guess, pushing for that sort of spot.

"And, Nick has the potential to really step up at this level and take the game away from an opposition.

"I guess that's what sort of got him over the line."

Former Australian vice-captain Brad Haddin hoped selectors gave Maddinson an extended run.

"He came in at a difficult time in the Adelaide Test (on debut) and Rabada was in the middle of a good spell," Haddin told AAP.

"I would like to see Nic Maddinson get some games under his belt because he can win games.

"The one thing he has done for NSW is that he has won cricket games when he scores runs - he's exciting to watch."

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