Glenn Maxwell is described as “serious and ruthless,” showcasing that he possesses more than just natural, unpredictable abilities. This was stated by Ali Martin.
After his incredible, undefeated score of 201 against Afghanistan, Glenn Maxwell was not the impressive Wizard of Oz, but rather resembled the Tin Man. The cramps that caused his explosive show of stationary power-hitting resulted in his absence from Australia’s last group match. He continued to move stiffly as he strolled around the team hotel, pushing his new son’s stroller.
After receiving countless messages following his impressive performance of 21 fours and 10 sixes, the 35-year-old is ready to come back for Thursday’s highly anticipated semi-final against South Africa at Eden Gardens. And if the Proteas were not aware before, his record-breaking double century in a one-day international run chase from the No. 6 spot proves that as long as he remains at the crease, Australia cannot be defeated.
It may be tempting to label Maxwell as a peculiar individual – a unpredictable and carefree person with the muscular arms of Ricky Ponting and a plethora of clever shots like Ronnie O’Sullivan. Therefore, it was not shocking when Australia had to play without him in the group game against England due to a concussion from falling off a golf cart. This incident was not unexpected, as Maxwell had previously suffered a broken leg while playing around at a friend’s birthday celebration last year.
However, what truly supports Maxwell’s all-around performance on the field is his determination to constantly improve and develop his skills through rigorous practice sessions. This approach may seem unconventional and has been misinterpreted in the past, with even accomplished players like Steve Smith failing to understand it initially. In fact, in early 2018, Smith had even left Maxwell out of an ODI squad, advising him to “train more effectively”.
Aaron Finch, the former captain of the T20 World Cup-winning Australia team, tells the Guardian that he is very serious and merciless. There was a period of misunderstanding where he may have been practicing techniques in the nets that most players would not even consider.
I have been acquainted with him since he joined Victoria in his first year. While he possessed talent, he was also quite frustrating. However, I didn’t fully comprehend him until I spent time with him and got to know him better. It became clear that he has a unique perspective on the game. Trying to force him to do routine tasks will not reveal his genius. “Mundane” may not accurately describe regular practice, even though it may seem unexciting.
“Many are unaware that he has begun coaching girls’ cricket in his home country. He possesses a deep understanding of skill development. While many gifted individuals struggle to articulate their abilities, his ability to teach is a rare quality among geniuses.”
Finch regrets not training like his ex-flatmate in the past, as he believes there is a general aversion towards unconventional methods in Australia, which may resonate with those in the UK. He recalls being reprimanded for hitting the ball in the air during his early days, and wishes he had pushed the boundaries more instead of always striving for consistency. However, he acknowledges that this is what sets him apart from players like Maxwell, who are not afraid to be unique.
He is a determined person, as he has faced criticism for not being consistent in the past. Additionally, there were rumors surrounding his nickname “Big Show” when he received a lucrative $1 million deal in the Indian Premier League 10 years ago. While it was unexpected, he did not actively promote or choose the nickname for himself.
Others may have been jealous, but that is not his concern. It is impossible to achieve the same level of consistency as players like Smith, Joe Root, or Virat Kohli. However, they are also unable to perform the way he does.
Maxwell may have caused some frustration for Finch, but when Finch retired this year, Maxwell’s tribute acknowledged their many disagreements. Their conflicts were often centered around setting fields for Maxwell’s off-breaks, a secondary skill that has proved crucial for the Australian team in the World Cup. Despite being the only frontline spinner, Adam Zampa, Maxwell’s off-breaks have helped him take five wickets and maintain an economy rate of under five runs per over in India.
Two days before the semi-final match against South Africa in the World Cup, Maxwell returned to his practice ground at Eden Gardens. The sunny weather was replaced by the bright lights of the stadium, and Maxwell was experimenting with various unconventional hits such as reverse scoops, cross-batted shots, and short-arm bunts. While it was enjoyable, he also approached it with a serious mindset.