ICC Cricket World Cup

Maxwell confident of finding elusive big score

Glenn Maxwell

Maxwell has totalled 143 runs in eight innings at the tournament, but that has largely been down to Australia’s top order doing the heavy lifting. Maxwell has often walked into solid platforms and had to tee away from the get-go. And he hasn’t disappointed on that front, lighting up the tournament with his brief, but destructive cameos. In all, Maxwell’s 143 runs have come off just 75 balls, giving him a strike-rate of 190.66.

“I feel like I haven’t hit the ball better in my career, I just haven’t got runs,” Maxwell said in Manchester, where Australia face South Africa in their final league fixture on Saturday, 6 July. “It’s nice to be relaxed when I go out in the middle. Runs just haven’t come the way I would have liked, but I don’t think they’re far away.”

Maxwell has had his chances at a long stint in the middle, though, as in Australia’s previous game, against New Zealand, when he walked in 81/4 at the 20-over mark. Off his fifth ball, Maxwell attempted a pull to a short ball, but ended up dragging it back to the bowler off the bottom part of the bat. However, he denied that he is out of form.

“If I was out of form and out of runs, I think I’d be a little more nervous. It’s about not over-complicating it and not reinventing the wheel at training. I’ve stuck to the way I’ve gone about my training and making sure you’re not clouding your head even further.”

Maxwell’s game has had a discernible element of maturity this year. It was evident in abundance during his exploits on Australia’s tour of India. Maxwell’s calculated aggression has made him a more dangerous and consistent batsman, and he said that maturity has carried over to his preparation and mindset when he goes in to bat.

“It is a bit of maturity and growth and trust in my preparation. I think I would have been searching for something a couple of years ago, whereas now, when I go out to bat, I have been doing the right things and training the right way,” he said.

“To trust going in without a lot of runs behind you does take a few years to learn from that and grow from that. You might not get the time out in the middle like the top order does, but when you go get out there, you’ve got to make the most of it. To have the faith the selectors have had in me to be here and be the sole spinning all-rounder in the squad is nice.”

Looking ahead to Australia’s clash against South Africa, Maxwell explained the importance of finishing well despite having already qualified for the semi-final. A win for Australia would give them a top-of-the-table finish and, as a result, let them remain in Manchester, where they have enjoyed a bit of a break. Playing the first semi-final at this venue would also mean four days of rest ahead of the big final.

“I would love to stay here. The incentive to finish top would be great,” he said. “To get as much time as you can in one place, you don’t have to pack your bags again.”

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