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Stars coach backs Maxwell for big BBL show

AAP logoAAP 16/12/2016

Melbourne Stars coach Stephen Fleming has backed Glenn Maxwell to shine in the Big Bash League, hailing him as the sort of player who turns matches.

While Maxwell's Australian one-day status is uncertain, he will be one of the keys for the Stars in the upcoming BBL.

Maxwell was hit with a team fine and did not play in any of Australia's three one dayers against New Zealand this month after pre-series comments about teammate Matthew Wade.

Maxwell has not spoken publicly since and turned down a media request at a Friday lunch for the Stars and Melbourne Renegades.

But Fleming said Maxwell had enjoyed playing in a couple of BBL trial matches.

"He seems pretty good - you can often never tell with Maxy," Fleming said of the enigmatic allrounder.

"He enjoyed the run the other day, playing the two games, (and) we've got another couple of games for him to get back into some sort of form in the middle.

"I have no doubt he will be ready for the first game.

"He's pretty natural ... it doesn't matter how much he plays."

Fleming said Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright were the sort of batsmen who could turn games on their own.

The coach added they encouraged Maxwell to play the game in his own style.

"Hopefully he can win one or two for us before he gets picked (for Australia)," he said.

"It would be unfortunate for him, (if he is not picked) but it would be a win for us.

"You want that type of player in your side every time.

"Guys who can win matches are very rare and we're fortunate enough with him, Pietersen and Luke Wright in the batting order, we have three who can do it on their own."

Fleming said they were considering a top-three role for Maxwell in their batting order.

Meanwhile, the Stars coach said several players will have to step up to fill the hole left by John Hastings.

Knee surgery means Hastings will not play at all in the BBL this summer.

"It's a big blow - he's a big presence off the field as well as on (it)," Fleming said.

"His performances internationally and domestically have been outstanding.

"It's going to be a long road back for him, but we'll try to get him involved as much as we can."

It has been a nightmare summer for Hastings, who also was sidelined for several weeks with a broken finger and then was dropped from the Australian one-day team.

"They say it happens in threes, so hopefully this is the last," Fleming said.

"There's enough talent there to make us competitive, but it doesn't replace the fact that we've lost one of our key men.

"Other teams will lose them as well, so you have to get on with it."

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