Gautam Gambhir has made a bold prediction ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. The erstwhile India opener believes the Royal Challengers Bangalore will sign ostentatious all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for the upcoming season.
Glenn Maxwell made headlines during IPL 2020 but mostly for the wrong reasons. Playing for KL Rahul's Kings XI Punjab, Maxwell was severely out of form and scored only 108 runs in 13 games at an average of 15.42. The Aussie failed to hit even a single six all season.
Consequently, KXIP released Maxwell ahead of the next season, and he will again go under the auction hammer at a base price of INR 2 Crores.
Speaking on the Star Sports network, Gautam Gambhir remarked that although Glenn Maxwell has been 'very cold' in recent IPL seasons, some teams would still go for him at the auction.
"I feel Glenn Maxwell (will go big under the hammer). He has not set the IPL on fire apart from one season in 2014, he has been very, very cold. People say hot and cold, but he has been very cold. There are teams who will be looking at someone like Maxwell. Surely, RCB will be looking at him. That is my personal opinion. Anything can happen at the auctions. But I feel Maxwell will go to RCB," said Gautam Gambhir.
Expounding on his prediction, Gautam Gambhir remarked that Maxwell has performed well at the Chinnaswamy stadium, RCB's home ground, which could play as a factor for Virat Kohli's team.
"And at Chinnaswamy, where he has done very well. Whenever he has played at Chinnaswamy, he has won games for Australia. So, I think, Maxwell will go to RCB. Depending on how much RCB will give for him, but I feel he would go for a lot of money," said Gautam Gambhir.
Glenn Maxwell has a T20I hundred, 113*, at the Chinnaswamy against India in 2019. He has played just one ODI at the ground in 2013 and scored 60 off just 22 balls in that match.
On the other hand, Maxwell's IPL record in Bangalore is not nearly as good. In 6 innings there, the 29-year-old has scored only 39 runs at an undesirable average of 6.50.
Glenn Maxwell could be the 'X-factor' for RCB: Gautam Gambhir
If Gautam Gambhir's prediction does come true, then RCB could field one of the strongest-ever middle orders for a T20 team. Gambhir talked about the same and said Glenn Maxwell could be the 'X-factor' in the star-studded side.
"Because if I look at their entire batting line-up they have got, Virat Kohli will definitely be looking to open the batting, because that is where he has been most successful. Padikkal has done very, very well for them in the previous season. Then they have got AB, and then they can have someone like Maxwell - the X factor," Gautam Gambhir concluded.
Since the conclusion of the IPL, Glenn Maxwell has performed brilliantly for Australia and for the Melbourne Stars franchise in the Big Bash League. In the recently concluded BBL season, Maxwell scored 379 runs from 13 innings at an average of 31.58 and a strike rate of 143.56.
It remains to be seen if he can bring the same charisma to the IPL.