Maxwell ready to ‘explode’ again as axing motivates him
Glenn Maxwell knew this innings will come very soon.
Despite enjoying the status of a World Cup winner, one of the top 20 ranked batsmen in the world and Australia’s reigning One Day cricketer of the year, five single-digit scores in a row will force any player fearing his immediate future.
And when the selection axe ultimately hit him last week during a training session in St Kitts, it was not only a superficial wound, something big hit him hard.
“Trevor Hohns told me I was dropped … I’d tried to avoid him for most of the session,” Maxwell admitted on Wednesday after his match-winning performance against West Indies in Barbados, his first outing back in the playing eleven since he was left out.
“As much as you feel like you’re hitting the ball well and training well, results are always in the back of your mind.
“After a couple of not great results in the first two games, it hurt being dropped at that stage.
“When you feel so ingrained in that side for such a long time, ODI Player of the Year, you feel like you need to be there.
“It’s a team I want to be playing in for the next few World Cups, Champions Trophies, series in Australia, everything. I want to be part of that one-day side every game we play.
“So it hurt at the time but it probably motivated me to train a bit harder and re-assess where I needed to get better.”
Despite a run of poor form that threw him out of Australia squad, Maxwell claims he never had a doubt on his ambitious and high-risk technique of run-scoring, which swa five fours and two sixes in just 26 balls last match.
But the fear-free approach doesn’t mean he was not on edge as he stepped into the party when Australia were within 61 runs of victory. Maxwell then walked into the middle of Kensington Oval anxiously with just eight overs in hand.
Maxwell’s recent form saw him facing a total of only 24 balls in ODI format since the start of February, with just 9 runs in five innings.
In the first match of tour, a dangerous turning off-break from Sunil Narine spun sharply between his loose drive and clattered into the willow. Two days later an incorrect umpiring decision and the absence of an umpire review ultimately cost him his precious wicket.
And on Wednesday when the all-rounder watched the very first delivery he faced again spun sharply past his outside edge and into the gloves of the wicketkeeper, he knew this was the stroke of good fortune he had been looking for.
“I’ve been pretty nervous in a few innings for Australia, but I was pretty nervous sitting in the sheds waiting to come out, especially since it was my first hit back from being dropped,” he said.
“And it’s amazing how you get a little bit of luck early on. I played and missed at one and I’ve been nicking those in the past five or six games.
“Even though that doesn’t look like a lot of luck … you can get through it.
“If you look back to the New Zealand series (in February) … everything that I did wrong, I was out. So it was nice to make a mistake and get away with it early, which is sometimes what you need as a batter.
“In those sort of situations (you need to) capitalise on it and I felt like I did that tonight.
“I know my method and what’s been successful for me. I don’t really try and change that.
“It’s just about being a bit more clinical and making sure (of it) in those little moments.”
Maxwell rightly seized his moment against the West Indies and is keen to do so again on Sunday in the tri-series final at Kensington.
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