Glenn Maxwell’s match-winning innings against the Windies left Mitchell Marsh completely speechless, as the all-rounder propelled Australia into the ODI tri-series final and proved his worth after a run of low scores had seen him left out from the one-day team.
Maxwell was called up into Australia’s final eleven for the final preliminary fixtures at Kensington Oval after he was left out in the previous two matches, the first time he had been dumped since November 2014.
The intense pressure the 27-year-old was feeling on his comeback innings when he came to crease in Australia’s must-win encounter against West Indies increased more. That time his team needed 63 runs from 50 balls, otherwise Australia would have been knocked out of the competition.
But Mitchell Marsh had no other choice but to watch from the other end as his teammate bulldozed the Windies bowlers with five fours and two sixes. The innings included a sensational switch hit into the Greenidge & Haynes Stand of Sunil Narine’s bowling, just an over after the spinner almost bowled him with a massive turning off-break.
Maxwell’s late explosion of unbeaten 46 from 26 deliveries helped Australia clinch the victory with an over remaining, while it also put an end to a run of five ODIs in which he had been sent bag-packing for single figures.
“I was literally speechless at the other end watching an innings like that,” said Marsh, who also regards his 79 not out from 85 balls as one of the best knocks of his career.
“Maxi’s obviously had a lot of doubts and hasn’t been in the greatest of form, but an innings like that tonight really shows why he’s one of the first picked in this side.
“He’s just so dangerous and he can win us games like that in a few overs. I’m really wrapped for him.
“He actually told me we would just take (Narine) for ones and next minute he’s playing a reverse sweep for six. I absolutely loved it.
“Maxi’s a free spirit, you’ve just got to let him go and do what he does. And when it comes off like that, it’s unbelievable to watch.”
For Marsh, it happens to be the second time this year he had displayed an outstanding temperament to guide his side through a challenging run chase.
The all-rounder notched a well-composed 69 not out in a win over New Zealand in Wellington back in February, an innings which he produced only two weeks after he made his maiden international hundred, an unbeaten 102 in a defeat to India at the SCG.
While speaking to cricket.com.au before this West Indies tour, Marsh admitted those performances actually boosted him the confidence that he still belongs to the top level. His confidence was severely damaged by a Test record which still stands at only one half-century from 23 innings.
And the 24-year-old claimed the conviction achieved from the innings in Wellington helped him this time also, some 14,000 kilometres away on the outskirts of the Barbados capital Bridgetown.
“I think it just gives you a lot of confidence to really go out there and back your skill and your ability,” he said.
“That innings (against NZ), I was batting with David Warner and he gave me a lot of great advice out in the middle, just to really back myself because I was coming off a duck in Auckland.
“He gave me a lot of confidence in myself and it’s sort of just flowed from there in the one-day format.
“Anytime you can bat through an innings and be not out in a win and in a crucial chase like that, it’s very satisfying.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I haven’t taken my opportunities in this series so it was really nice to get us over the line.”
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