18/04/2024

Glenn Maxwell is preparing for the T20 World Cup. Credit: Cricket Australia

After nine years at the pinnacle of international short form cricket, Glenn Maxwell looms as the X-Factor in Australia’s bid to win their maiden T20 World Cup Title this year.

After nine years at the pinnacle of international short-form cricket, Glenn Maxwell looms as the X-Factor in Australia’s bid to win their maiden T20 World Cup Title this year.

Maxwell, who returns to international duties after starring for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, had an impressive few months alongside some of cricket’s finest and has taken his short-form game to a new level.

“I was fortunate to have the line-up that I did at RCB and have those experienced players around me to feed off their energy,” Maxwell said.

“I was so thankful for the opportunities it gives you to learn off the best players in the world.”

https://twitter.com/CricketAus/status/1447475808835145731?s=20

And after so long at the top, Maxwell is still discovering ways to improve his batting game with IPL teammates, who have pushed him to find his next level.

“Every day was a learning experience, I was being a sponge to Virat [Kohli] and AB [de Villiers].”

But it’s the new environment of the UAE, the host of this year’s T20 World Cup, that has taken some getting used to.

“That’s the biggest key, getting used to the conditions. Dubai is a big dome, as soon as there’s no wind, it’s hard to get through 20 overs.

“The trend of the games over here have been really tough in the last four to five overs. The ball gets softer; the bounce almost disappears,” he said.

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Alongside his improved batting and stamina, don’t be surprised if we see Maxwell with ball in hand more often, with the 33-year-old honing his skills in the off-season back in Melbourne.

“I’ve done a fair bit of work with my bowling. I was lucky to have a pre-season with Victoria and work with [spin coach] Craig Howard.

“I’ve been working really hard bowling over the wicket and being able to attack right-handed batters.

“The biggest thing for me is to bowl to left-handers, not just right-handers, and still be able to shut down one side of the ground.”

And Maxwell, who has the ability to win games off his own bat on the T20 stage, knows that in this layout, one player can change a game instantly.

“It’s the one format where one person can beat you on the day,” Maxwell said.

“It’s pretty fickle and unfortunately we’ve been on the wrong side of it.”

Despite sitting seventh in the world T20 rankings, Maxwell feels the Australian line-up is stronger than ever and has backed two key teammates to produce come crunch time.

After a poor performance in Australia’s first practice match against New Zealand yesterday, Maxwell has put his faith in Dave Warner to step up when the pressure is on.

“If you ever doubt Davey, it’s an absolute no-no. Come the 23rd, you know he’s going to hit the ground running and be a big player for us.”

As for Mitch Marsh, Maxwell has high praise.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone hit the ball better, ever.

Australian in the IPL Maxwell
Maxwell raises the bat for another IPL fifty (credit IPL twitter)

“We all gather around his net and just watch him. His presence around the group is second to none.”

Maxwell knows the challenge lies ahead but believes his side has what it takes to advance deep into the T20 World Cup tournament, which begins 23 October 2021.

“We’re extremely pumped to get this started.”

And you know when it’s time to play on the big stage, the Big Show can deliver.

Australia’s first match in the World Cup is on October 23 against South Africa.

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