During India’s ODI series against Australia in January, much discussion veered towards Glenn Maxwell’s batting position in the 50-overs format. The right-handed batsman came out to the middle at no. 7 in the three-match series which India won 2-1. Several former Australian cricketers including Sir Allan Border questioned the team’s strategy behind sending Maxwell down the order. After smacking a ton to help his side pick up a 7-wicket win in the 2nd T20I on Wednesday against India, the batsman said it would be easier if he gets to bat higher up the order in the upcoming ODI series against India.
“In one day cricket, it’s not as easy to go at the end. So it would be nice to bat higher up but it depends on what happens in the top four or top five. If the opportunity does come up, I’d like to take,” the 30-year-old told reporters at the press conference after the match.
The batsman scored his 3rd T20I on Wednesday, an unbeaten 113 in 55 balls, to help Australia win the series 2-0. Addressing his innings, Maxwell said: “In my case tonight, when I came out, it was 15 overs to go I think. And as long as I get an 80 or a 100 out of that even, if I am doing that at a No 6 or a 7, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just me making the most of the opportunities when I get them.”
He added that the wicket started drying up a bit in the later stage of the innings. “In my case tonight, when I came out, it was 15 overs to go I think. And as long as I get an 80 or a 100 out of that even, if I am doing that at a No 6 or a 7, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just me making the most of the opportunities when I get them,” he said.
Maxwell’s innings comprised of 9 sixes and 7 fours, and the batsman insisted that despite the big hitting, he did not take unnecessary risks. “I think it’s just got to be about picking your moments. I think a little bit of it is that I have to go hard but I think I had been just picking off balls I can hit the boundaries in. Like today, I don’t think I took too many ridiculous risks and I feel I read the game really well and was able to hit the ball in areas where the fielders weren’t at all. There are not many times I hit the ball straight over a fielder’s head but just place it in the gap and I feel that’s okay for me,” he said.
The allrounder added that he felt he was one step ahead in the game. “When I had a successful inning if I am mistiming and it’s still falling in the gap but I have gotten in control and I really had a good read of the game and I was just one step ahead,” he said.
He further addressed how he countered the threat posed by Jasprit Bumrah in the death overs. “I was always trying to attack him. We needed 44 off the last four overs and he came back on. I suppose it was a key over. If that only went for four or five, suddenly you need 13 an over. And it only takes six good yorkers from him to push that up to 18-19. That can be quite difficult to get in the last two overs, or the two other overs,” he said.
“So I was just hoping he missed a couple of times and wanted to pounce on that. He’s done me a fair few times in T20 cricket to his credit. I have sort of changed my approach to him a little bit. Been able to wait for a ball that’s slightly off and capitalise on that. I was able to get him for two boundaries in that over and keep the run rate in check and I was able to target Siddarth next over and then we only needed 14 off 12 balls.”
With the five-match ODI series set to begin from Saturday, Maxwell said that the visitors would feel a lot more confident after their maiden T20 series win against India.
“I have been here a lot of times but haven’t felt a lot of success. In 2013, we had that amazing series, a record amount of runs and last game here Rohit got a double hundred. We tried to chase 380 and I think Faulkner got a 100 in that game but it was not enough. That was one of the best series played here and to not win that is probably a sign of how difficult it is to do that here. We played such good cricket in that tour and India still beat us. So to win here in the first two games of the tour, that is a really good start,” Maxwell said.
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