Glenn Maxwell: A big, fat no show | ICC T20 WC 2021

Pakistan vs Australia - ICC Men's T20 World Cup Semi-Final 2021
Pakistan vs Australia - ICC Men's T20 World Cup Semi-Final 2021
Shyam Kamal

Glenn Maxwell's scores in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 so far read:

18 (21) vs South Africa

5 (6) vs Sri Lanka

6 (9) vs England

0* (0) vs Bangladesh

0* (0) vs West Indies

7 (10) vs Pakistan.

He scored 36 runs in six games at a paltry average of 9.00 and more alarmingly, at a strike rate of 78.26.

Time for Maxwell to step up now which he hasn’t really done for Australia since this IPL.

For someone who has earned the nickname 'Big show', one would expect more of him. Well, not when you realise the nickname is the result of his audacious shot selection and batting technique, and not for his performances in big games.

Maxwell is a showman, a batter who puts on a big show for the audience. And going by that yardstick, there is no denying that he has earned this nickname of big show.

For starters, take the semifinal game against Pakistan. When Maxwell walked out to bat, Australia needed 88 runs off ten overs. David Warner had just been dismissed. It was up to Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, the designated finishers of the team, to take Australia home. Matthew Wade was not in anyone's scheme of things.

Off his ninth ball - in a must-win game - Maxwell slogged. Thankfully, the reverse slog only hit his glove and lobbed the wicketkeeper for a double. The next ball, Maxwell unleashed the switch hit again.

It was a pre-meditated switch-hit against a bowler who had already taken three wickets until that point, and was in the last over of his quota. Maxwell attempted that shot when there was a deep point in place just for that shot.

A pre-meditated switch-hit to a ball that was nowhere in the slot to be hit. And the ball fell right into the hands of a tumbling Haris Rauf.

Not for the first time, Glenn Maxwell has got out playing the switch hit

Australia vs Sri Lanka - ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
Australia vs Sri Lanka - ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021

Maxwell's dismissal against Pakistan was similar to how he got out a few other times during the tournament.

Maxwell got out with 38 runs required off five overs. He was dismissed after Steve Smith, who had held the innings together till that point, had just gotten out to a brilliant catch by Aiden Markram.

Maxwell, the one who had already gotten his eye in, went for. wait for it... a switch hit. He did so against the then No.1 T20 bowler in the world, Tabraiz Shamsi. He missed the slog, and the ball struck the middle stump.

Against Sri Lanka, Maxwell had been promoted to No.3, but fell to Wanindu Hasaranga. He failed to read a slow ball from the spinner. Failing to clear the boundary, Maxwell sent the ball straight to Avishka Fernando on the ropes.

His dismissal against England came off Chris Woakes. It was the result of a blind swing of the bat to a ball swinging lightly back into the batsman. The Bangladesh and West Indies games did not require Maxwell to face a ball, but it is not difficult to extrapolate.

The annoying thing is, IPL 2021 showed that Maxwell was one who could be depended on. A Maxwell who seemed like he had moved past all this posturing and gimicking. Even Graeme Swann thought as much:

He's not the big cheese anymore, the big mac, the Big Show… whatever you call him. He's nowhere near being the Big Show. But he's got Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the team, and it really suits him, to be that third player who can just go out there and express himself, without having to carry the team. This suits him. He looks in a very good place; he looks very fit.

Australia's batting line-up provides as much of a relief to him as Australia does, maybe even more. In fact, the more you think about it, the more amazing it sounds in favour of Australia.

Any other team who has one of their premium batters struggling this way would either have him dropped, or would have been dumped out of the tournament itself. The fact that neither happened shows how ridiculously stacked Australia's batting is.

New Zealand vs Australia - T20 Game 5
New Zealand vs Australia - T20 Game 5

The last two times Maxwell batted in this tournament, he was not half the batter he has become of late. His stats have improved phenomenally, despite Australia not playing enough T20 games like some of the other teams.

In the final, Glenn Maxwell will have one more opportunity to repay the faith Australia have shown in him. The other batters have shown up when needed, so Maxwell's absence has not been as conspicuous as it could have been.

From strength to strength 🇦🇺More on Australia's journey to the #T20WorldCup final 👉

Another failure on Sunday will be difficult to cover up. Australia will need the big show to come to the party, with the T20 title on the line.

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Edited by Bhargav
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