Performances that don't fade away: Looking back at Glenn Maxwell's stunning assault on CSK in 2014
Things haven’t been very rosy for Kings XI Punjab in the current edition of the IPL, but last season was a different story altogether. They had a truly special year that time around, as they displayed a brand of cricket that endeared them to audiences all over the country. The men from Punjab were a potent force in IPL 7, putting together a glorious run to the finals where they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders.
One of the chief architects of their success, the man who has been just a shadow of himself at this year’s edition, was Glenn Maxwell. The swashbuckling Aussie helped KXIP register several imperious wins with his sparkling performances. They beat heavyweights CSK handsomely both times in the league stage of last year’s competition, thanks largely to Maxwell.
KXIP handed CSK a rare hat-trick of losses to the same team in one season by winning the qualifier as well, with Virender Sehwag scoring a majestic ton. But the real hero of the CSK-KXIP rivalry in 2014 was Maxwell, whose stunning assault on one bowler in particular was truly memorable. With his audacious strokeplay and frenetic big hitting, Maxwell ensured that his performances don’t fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range.
As KXIP prepare to take on CSK again tomorrow, here’s a look back at the devastating double that Maxwell unleashed on the hapless Chennai bowlers last year:
95 (43) against Chennai Super Kings, Abu Dhabi 2014
Kings XI Punjab were still coming to terms with the start of the IPL, armed with a fresh skipper and a fresh team. It was just the third IPL match of the season, and no one had any idea of what the Punjab players could achieve at that point. Things didn’t start particularly well for them; they were absolutely thrashed in the field, with CSK posting 205 in 20 overs thanks to a 123-run opening partnership at close to 10 per over.
KXIP were then reduced to 38 for two during the chase, and that worsened to 52 for 3, with the experiment of promoting Axar Patel to No. 4 failing miserably. But no one could have predicted what would follow next. As Maxwell got his eye in, the crowds in Abu Dhabi witnessed absolute carnage. The Aussie, in company with South Africa’s David Miller, went hammer and tongs on Dhoni’s men, belting 95 in just 43 balls – with 15 fours and two sixes.
He took a special liking to CSK’s best bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, hitting him all over the park. By the time Maxwell departed, after an hour of barely believable hitting, KXIP needed only 33 runs in 26 balls, which was rather easy with Miller still at the crease.
While Miller himself scored a half-century, Maxwell’s innings was an announcement of sorts from him. Having been on the Mumbai Indians bench for long, this was his chance to shine, and boy did he take that chance.
Maxwell was severe on all the bowlers, not just Ashwin. Pawan Negi was punished the most – he was tonked for three fours and a six in a 22-run over. Maxwell ultimately lost his wicket just five short of a century, but by helping KXIP comfortably chase down a 200+ score against a champion team, he had well and truly made his mark on the tournament.
90 (38) against Chennai Super Kings, Cuttack 2014
Two different countries, two different pitches, two different sets of conditions, but one result.
CSK had revenge on their minds after losing a high-scoring game in Abu Dhabi, but Maxwell put paid to any such thoughts with another dominating performance. KXIP got a chance to bat first this time, and they went one up over CSK by scoring a massive 231, once again thanks to Maxwell.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were both dispatched with ease, with Ashwin again bearing the brunt of Maxwell’s fury. He went for an unheard of 17 in his first over and then for another 21 in his next, as the Aussie went completely bonkers. On most occasions, Ashwin wouldn’t concede in 10 overs the amount that he did in two against Maxwell.
Dwayne Smith, who made Maxwell miss his century in the first game, was dispatched for three huge sixes. But Mohit Sharma, who was smacked for three fours in an over in the first game had the last laugh, getting Maxwell with a slower delivery that the Aussie could only hit down the throat of deep midwicket.
By then Maxwell had already done the damage though, with a 38-ball 90; this was as scorching an innings as they come. George Bailey used the platform given by his countryman to finish the KXIP innings on a high and take them to 231, which was enough to eventually defeat CSK by 44 runs.
The two gems from Maxwell against CSK last year will always feature amongst the best IPL innings of all time, and no one will forget them anytime soon. How KXIP would be wishing he reproduces that kind of form in the match tomorrow!