The mad genius with mad skills

Glenn Maxwell's outrageous batting in six pictures

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Glenn Maxwell is surprised that people find his batting eyebrow-raising. He probably thinks the headline of our Cricket Monthly cover story on him - Mad Maxi - is a bit excessive.

"I think the way I bat is very obvious. I don't think people should be [going], 'Oh, why's he playing that shot?' I think they should be going: 'Oh, everyone knows why he's playing that shot. Because the field's up on the off side. He thought it was going to be short, it was full, so he tried to hit a cover drive.' To me, that's not a rash shot, that's an obvious shot."

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"You have to be able to hit the same ball into different areas, because you're not going to come up against the same field every time. Teams are going to have different tactics against you every time," said Maxwell in the interview in our April issue.

In a Big Bash game against Adelaide Strikers in 2013-14 (above), Maxwell got a top edge that rose vertically and still managed to land across the boundary. Here's ESPNcricinfo's commentary of the shot:

Neser to Maxwell, SIX, its over the rope! Would you believe it? Length ball outside off and Maxi tried for a big yahoo heave, gets a top edge and it has carried all the way back over the keepers head.

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"I don't think he is worried about his game; he's more worried about golf and practises more golf than cricket," Virender Sehwag, a kindred soul, said of Maxwell.

Against England in the 2015 World Cup (above), Maxwell even managed to make his dismissal look spectacular.

Finn to Maxwell, OUT, skews it down the ground and Root has taken an absolute blinder! It was full and speared in at the batsman's legs, credit to Maxwell to powering it that far down the ground but Root has made this wicket. Races to his right from long-off, dives full length and grabs it low with both hands. Text-book awesomeness!

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When Maxwell's batting coach Richard Clifton heard of his plans for developing a new shot - the reverse-slap for six over third man, he said: "That's a silly shot, mate, it'll get you out." Maxwell replied: "Nah, I'll get runs with it."

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"I get results through either my hands or my wrist work," Maxwell says. "Let's say, a half-volley outside off, I know I can hit that [from] backward square leg all the way through to behind third man."

Against Sri Lanka in a T20I in Melbourne in 2012-13 (above), Maxwell was on strike when Australia needed 12 off the final three balls.

14.4 NLTC Perera to Maxwell, FOUR, full outside off stump, Maxwell gets low and slices it over point for four. Australia are still in it. Great shot first up.

14.5 NLTC Perera to Maxwell, FOUR, another one. Full toss outside off stump again, and that's carved over point for a second time. The crowd is going nuts at the MCG. What a super hand from Maxwell.

However, Maxwell could only manage a bye of the last ball of a rain-reduced chase and Australia lost by two runs.

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"I feel like I have a half-reasonable idea where the bowler's going to try and bowl it, and I have a half-reasonable idea where I'm going to try and hit it."

Against England in Hobart in 2014 (above), Maxwell played a premeditated reverse sweep that didn't pan out.

Bopara to Maxwell, OUT, full on the stumps, goes to reverse slog sweep and chips it to point easy catch for Bresnan. Horrible shot really, he never gets his head down enough does Maxwell. Back of the hand delivery from Bopara does the trick, Maxwell never got under the full delivery.

How did Glenn Maxwell go from averaging 11.46 in club cricket in 2007-08 and being ignored for the Under-19 World Cup to ruling the 2015 World Cup? Why (and how) did he bat left-handed against Mitchell Santner in the 2016 World T20? What happened between him and Matthew Wade in Victoria? To understand this unusual cricket brain more, read the April issue of the Cricket Monthly, which also includes features on Australia's iconic cricket statues, England's reverse-swing history, Andy Zaltzman's all-time fielding XI, and five instances when Arjun Ranatunga enjoyed a good scrap with officials or the opposition.

 

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