Updated: March 21, 2015 5:45:31 pm
Dashing Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell on Saturday said the Indian team should remember that it hasn’t won a single game against his side this summer and the hosts intend to keep it that way in Thursday’s ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final against the defending champions.(Full Coverage| Venues | Fixtures)
Asked how difficult will it be for Australia to stop the unbeaten Indian juggernaut, Maxwell replied, “I think we targetted them pretty well this summer. They haven’t won a game against us all through the summer. Hopefully that is pretty clear in their memories.”
“We can make the most of that (all win record). We’ve been dominant all summer in the ODI format. We want to continue that.”
But Maxwell did praise the Indian side for its consistency that helped it reach the last four stage.
“India are a very good side. They wouldn’t be here in the semi-finals if they weren’t a good side. We have to bring our A game when we play them this week,” the IPL star said with a note of caution.
Although the media interaction at the Sydney airport “felt like IPL” to Maxwell with only three Aussie reporters in the mix, he didn’t feel that playing against Ashwin or Jadeja in the IPL would matter much as his role in this national team set-up is different.
“The IPL is a lot different to the World Cup. It is different pressure and different situation. I bat at No 6 (for Australia) and there are still five guys ahead of me, who are going to be batting first. Hopefully, they can make the most of the conditions. My job is to finish it off.”
When someone asked if he reckons the contest to be 50-50, Maxwell had a tongue-in-cheek counter query, “What are the bookmakers saying?”
Many past Aussie greats term the India versus Australia rivalry as the greatest in international cricket currently but for the maverick Maxwell, Ashes is still sacrosanct.
“There are a lot of big rivalries in international cricket. Every team that we play against, there is like some sort of rivalry or history attached. For Australia, the Ashes, is still probably our biggest and oldest rivalry.”
Virat Kohli has tormented Australia but Maxwell believes that there won’t be separate but a general gameplan for India which has been the case all summer.
“We haven’t had a team meet yet, but it will be pretty similar to the summer. We did pretty well during the summer against them. I am sure we will go ahead with similar plans and we will have a few tricks up our sleeve,” he answered with a smile.
Maxwell couldn’t stop raving about Australia’s win on Friday as he felt it was a fantastic team effort.
“It was an incredible win. The boys played outstanding cricket. To win it as comfortably as we did in the end, it gives us great confidence for the next game.”
But was it as comfortable as it seemed, Maxwell answered,
“It was a little bit uncomfortable at times. But I think when you look at the overall result with six wickets in hand and 90-odd balls left, it is a very comfortable win. We controlled
the momentum of the game whole way through. There was an unbelievable spell from Wahab Riaz. Full credit to him as that was pretty incredible.”
But Maxwell lauded all-rounder Shane Watson for the manner in which he tackled that hostile spell from Riaz.
“Wahab is as good a bowler as you will face and he (Watson) got us through that tough period and made sure he set the platform for us to finish in the end.”
For Maxwell, it was Watson’s experience as well as his calmness that also helped him during their 68-run stand.
“I think that sort of experience showed out there and that is what we needed. Just to be cool and have a calm head.
He (Watson) has been out there and done that. He was just outstanding. Just to have him at the other end, especially when I was batting, it was a pleasure to watch.”
Watson was fined 15 percent of his match fees for his altercation with Riaz but Maxwell felt that the all-rounder was not too bothered.
“We came to know about it after getting off the plane. I guess he was too excited after winning the game yesterday(on Friday) to think about it.”
Maxwell’s flat-batted hits have been a rage for some time and he believes it took a lot of practice.
“I have practiced them. You spend most of your net sessions facing Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. So you have to find ways of avoiding them or even try to hit them as a matter of fact.”
The Kings XI Punjab batsman is hopeful that the SCG strip will have a fair amount of grass for pace and bounce.
“Hopefully we get a fast one. It has been a pretty good wicket this year and hopefully there is a bit of grass there as well.”
The cricketer also defended his team’s scratchy batting performances during the tournament stating that only once did they get all-out this season (versus New Zealand).
“We are still making big totals and I think we have only been bowled out once in this tournament. I don’t think it is too much of a worry.”
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