IPL 2024: 'Rested' Maxwell ready for special impact!

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | April 16, 2024 IST

Glenn Maxwell

Bengaluru, April 16: Glenn Maxwell can win matches single handedly on his day. With a willow in hand, even if he is not fully fitt, limping, or even has multiple cramps and muscle pulls, still he can take his team home on the aerial route.

Remember his barrage of sixes and match-winning knock against Afghanistan in the ODI World Cup 2024. He was absolutely a treat to watch on that day, when he hardly could move. But one thing he did absolutely right was to hit the cricket ball hard to send it out of fence repeatedly. Unbelievable act indeed! 

Well, that is not the solitary occasion. He has been a champion performer for Australia, especially in the white-ball formats . Maxwell has been an asset for various T20 franchises including the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) for seasons.

Even with his useful off-spin variations, Maxwell can change the course of a game. An aggressive batter, useful bowler and a live-wire on the field, Glenn Maxwell is a complete all-round package for any team he plays.

He is a fighter to the core, which Maxwell has proved on numerous occasions. Earlier, he made no secret to his fascination to be part of the RCB squad, when he openly stated even if he is not fully fit, he would be ready to play for the Bengaluru IPL franchise.

But this season, he was not been successful for RCB in the first few matches. As a result, he was rested by the RCB management in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. 

On his omission from the match against SRH, Maxwell stated he sought a "mental and physical break" following a challenging beginning to his IPL 2024 season.

Addressing the press conference after RCB's 25-run loss to SRH, Maxwell disclosed that he informed captain Faf du Plessis and the coaching staff that it might be beneficial to give someone else a chance. But he believes he can still impact RCB if he is required to play his season.

"For me, personally, it was a pretty easy decision. I went to Faf [du Plessis] and the coaches after the last game and said I felt it was probably time we tried someone else. I have been in this situation in the past where you can keep playing and get yourself deeper into a hole. I think now is actually a good time for me to give myself a bit of a mental and physical break, get my body right. If I'm required to get in during the tournament, I can hopefully get back into a really solid mental and physical space where I can still have an impact," said Maxwell.

The 35-year-old all-rounder had a lacklustre start to the season, managing only 32 runs across six innings, with three ducks. This contributed to RCB's position at the bottom of the standings, having secured just one win.

"We have had a pretty big deficiency straight after the power-play, which has been my area of strength over the last couple of seasons. I felt like I wasn't contributing in a positive way with the bat, and with the results and the position we find ourselves on the table, I think it's a good time to give someone else an opportunity to show their wares, and hopefully, someone can make that spot their own," he added.

Maxwell entered IPL 2024 in scintillating form. He had delivered two T20I hundreds, one in Guwahati against India and another in Adelaide against West Indies. This impressive run came shortly after his outstanding performance in the ODI World Cup, where he scored a double hundred in a chase against Afghanistan.

"T20 cricket can be like that sometimes - it's a pretty fickle game," he reflected. "Even if you look at the first game, I ran one off the middle of the bat to the keeper. I picked up the length really well, saw a scoring opportunity, but opened the face a little bit too much. When you are going well, that goes wide of the gloves, you get a boundary, you are 4 off 1, and you are away for the tournament.

"I probably just haven't got away - it's as simple as that. In the first few games, I feel I made reasonably good decisions, but I was still finding ways to get out. It can happen in T20 cricket and when it snowballs like that, you can go searching and try too hard and forget the basics of the game," said Maxwell.

Maxwell's tenure with RCB has been stellar, with three outstanding seasons under his belt. He amassed 513 runs at an impressive strike rate of 144.10 in 2021, followed by 301 runs 169.1 and then 400 runs at a strike rate of 183.49 between 2021 to 2023.

Monday's game against SRH turned out to be a high-scoring one, that saw the highest aggregate of runs 549 - in a T20 match. When asked if, in hindsight, he wished he had played one more game before this decision to rest, Maxwell replied: "I did notice during the power-play that the pitch was not as slow and two-paced as it has been in the first few games," Maxwell replied. "And I realised it was probably a bad game to miss; it would have been nice to be out there batting."

"But as I said, I wanted to give myself not just the physical break but also the mental break to give myself the right to play professional cricket. I take a lot of pride in my performance, and I put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get my body right for every game. And it has been a pretty tough struggle, given my body is on the wrong side of 30. I think that physical and mental toll probably just wore me down a little bit," he added.

Will Maxwell be re-included in the RCB line-up? The answer seems even at this juncture, as 'yes'. Because any one with iota of cricket knowledge, would admit, Maxwell can change the course of a game in a few overs. 

His multiple skills can be rested for a match or two, but no team management would ever wish to keep such a talent in the sideline, reducing him to be a mute spectator from the dugout for long. (With IANS support)

    Tags
  • Cricket Australia
  • Glenn Maxwell
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • IPL 2024
  • Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)

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