Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Glenn Maxwell, Not Your Average Batting Legend Of White-Ball Cricket

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Glenn Maxwell (X.com)

The fan makes the sport what it is at the end of the day: a celebration of life and in some cases, as they say, a way of life. Cricket is something that those who long for it, cannot imagine their lives without. 

What is the fault?

But then, there is also a fault that rests with the fan. Really. 

There is a fault in that fans forget that with the departure of true greats from the international arena, such as the timeless AB de Villiers, and even Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it is not that cricket is running in void of batsmen who can just about hit the ball to any part of the ground. 

While nothing can replace the lifelong impact of AB and MS (as both are lovingly addressed), it is good to refresh one’s memory at times to remember that a certain Glenn Maxwell is still around. 

Remember- Maxwell is still around! 

He is very much in control of what he needs to do for Australia’s glory and with an impact that truth be told, is perhaps as much as any of his predecessors’ on the great game of cricket. 

He hit, most notably, just half a year ago, a double century in the demanding one day arena that was described by the globetrotting fan and expert as an inning of a lifetime: the double century v Afghanistan in the 2023 ODI World Cup.

But his latest century, this time in T20I cricket has reminded not only the West Indies who featured at the deciding end of his assault but, those who’ll go against Australia in the 2024 World Cup that Glenn Maxwell will likely have explosives to offer with the bat. 

Amazing scores 

In an age where nearly everyone stays eager to anoint the term genius to just about any cricketer, Glenn Maxwell is truly one. In what was his fifth T20 score for Australia in 102 games, he tore apart the West Indies, fiddled with gaps, demonstrated batting butchery and quite simply, toyed with the fielders. For times to come, the recent belter of a knock played at the Adelaide Oval shall remain synonymous with Glenn Maxwell’s genius; that indescribably attractive art that combines power hitting with a sense of premeditated precision. 

Windies made unwell by Maxwell

At one stage during his whirlwind knock of 120 unbeaten runs off 55 deliveries, Maxwell was on 90 off 46 deliveries. 

About to draw curtains to his full quota of four overs, there came Romario Shepherd with a fuller one pitched on Maxwell’s legs and the result was the white ball disappearing over a long on-side boundary for a monster hit.  

Anyone who had been batting under heat and also under some sort of pressure in that neither Warner or Marsh, the usual big bashers, got too many runs today, could’ve faltered. But not Glenn Maxwell, not your average genius but a constant six-hitting machine. 

What is Glenn Maxwell’s value 

You understand the value that Glenn Maxwell brings to the current Aussie fold when you factor in two derivations, both of whom are neither Einstein-ish in nature and nor do they require one to be an expert analyser like the kinds you see clubbing yellow shoes with white round neck T- shirts. 

Firstly, Glenn Maxwell is a batsman whose genius is established as much by a certain degree of consistency as sheer thrill. How? Despite playing over 100 T20 internationals for Australia, his strike rate, perhaps the most important yardstick in the format for a batsman, remains north of 150. That is something that warrants little else, but pure adulation. 

And secondly, the batsman who is an expert gap finder as also a ball thrasher brings immense value to a team that is already laden with many magnificent batters, such as- Mitch Marsh, Josh Inglis, Marcus Stoinis as well as the rising Tim David. 

That Maxwell, who hit 8 towering sixes against the West Indies at the Adelaide Oval, collects a large sum of his runs through fours and sixes – 96 of his 120 runs came by way of hits to the fence- explains his value.

That is just what you need in a format that is about power hitting. 

What does Maxwell’s overall T20I career look like?

Thus far, he’s hit a T20I century twice against a ferocious opponent like India and even tormented superior teams like England. Showing little signs of slowing down, the batsman with 10 fifties to his name, will certainly be a force to reckon with in the forthcoming World Cup. 

Surely, the likes of Cameron Green and Tim David, both of whom who’ll likely feature in WC ‘24, shall look up to the man who runs like a panther between the wickets, to inspire one and all. Maybe it’ll be good on the fan too, to remember that the excitement up ahead will not be restricted to just those more favoured names that are today best sellers. 

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