T20 World Cup news; Glenn Maxwell primed to drive Australian charge to victory
Even Indian megastar Virat Kohli has been left in awe of this red-hot Australian who hits the T20 World Cup as a key man in pursuit of a first-ever trophy.
Glenn Maxwell is playing at his “destructive” best right now and Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch is hoping to ride the superstar’s red-hot form all the way to a first World Cup title.
Finch has been in constant contact with Maxwell, who is outpointing the likes of his Indian Premier League teammates Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers with some stunning performances.
Three consecutive half-centuries have lifted Maxwell’s output to seventh on the leading run-scorers’ list in the tournament being played at some of the same grounds in the United Arab Emirates set to be used for the World Cup.
Conceding Australia’s efforts at previous T20 World Cups hadn’t been up to scratch, Finch said Maxwell’s matchwinning form and his growing confidence would be crucial to help turn the team’s fortunes around.
“Yeah, he looks to be hitting the ball beautifully, he’s confident at the moment, and his backswing looks, looks really impressive,” Finch said on Wednesday.
“So, the thing I like is he’s taking games deep, and as we know, he’s as destructive as anyone in the world when he’s on.
“Just the nature of his game when he’s firing his bowling is really important, and he’s going to be really important to the structure of out team. His fielding is best in the world and his batting is unbelievable.
“So, he’s a really important cog in our team, so we’re really happy with how he’s going and having spoken to him the other das, he’s working on a few things, so he’s confident, which is good.”
Maxwell has been in the top three Australian runs scorers at two of the past three World Cups. He and Usman Khawaja were the only Aussies to score more than 100 runs at the last T20 World Cup in 2016.
“He’s someone who in World Cups has shown in the past, whether T20 or 50 over, that he can win games for Australia off his own bat,” Finch said.
Maxwell, who turns 33 on October 14, has revelled in batting at number four for RCB, a position he’s at least set to start in for Australia at the World Cup.
But Finch said adaptability would be the key to success, and roles would regularly change with an array of power hitters, including himself, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, also at his disposal.
Only Marsh played in recent T20s against the West Indies and Bangladesh, when Australia won just two of 10 games.
Finch said getting those batting combinations right, with the best weapons now available, could determine the ultimate success of his team in a tournament Australia has never won.
“We understand that we haven’t played our best in these tournaments,” he said.
“We’re still very confident though we know that if we played our best, we were going to be hard to beat, we can match up with the best in the world.
“We feel as though our squad is well rounded. But we’ve got options to play different combinations, different structures, so we’ve just got to be at our best at the right time.”