Glenn Maxwell has played one of his best ODI innings ever for Australia. This statement makes sense after looking at the scorecard as he scored 201 runs in the chase of 293/7. That too, he scored after the team lost 7 wickets for just 91 runs against Afghanistan. His knock has saved multiple World Champion team to escape from a rare loss, miraculously.
Australia never lost to an associate nation at CWCs and this innings made sure that that record stays alive. Afghanistan came close to beating the greatest Champion team in CWCs ever in CWC 2023. While, current Australia team is nowhere close to 2001-2008 invincible team but they do have a lot of pride to be representing that team.
Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are highly regarded around the world, even now. Most of these cricketers have been part of 2015 CWC winning team at home. They could not repeat the similar performance in 2019 but they have huge aspirations for CWC 2023.
The first game against India and second game against South Africa, the team did not look like gelling and coming together. Against Pakistan, their batting has come good and against Netherlands, they won with 309 runs. Australia announced their come back in the tournament in a big way, with these two wins.
They needed to win against Afghanistan to confirm their Semi-Final spot and also, help their confidence, belief to win the cup. While India is looking like an invincible team, this team has been covering their holes with one or another performer putting his hand up. Glenn Maxwell, showcasing Aussie resilience to play while his body is cramping and causing back spasm is a huge boost for the team.
Had they lost to Afghanistan, Australia could have still qualified for Semi-Finals but their confidence would have taken a huge hit. So, this kind of show of character is needed for the team to come together and believe that they can miraculously win from any situation. They might be heavily tested against South Africa at Wankhede or Eden Gardens, but they will believe they can win from any situation.
This belief will make Australia a dangerous side for sure. Glenn Maxwell innings is as good as Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe that gave similar belief to India in 1983. Also, India started believing in their ability after Sachin Tendulkar won in Sharjah, almost on his own against Australia, famously revered as Desert Storm.
The impact of Sachin Tendulkar’s Desert Storm has huge on Indian youth as the next crop of cricketers believed India can win against any opposition. MS Dhoni pulled off some impossible wins but Sachin has been looked at as the master, who carries all the burden of the team. Glenn Maxwell had to carry the burden as a loss to Afghanistan, would have effected the belief of team members.
Also, it would have brought in more backlash from media from their own country. With loads of scrutiny at their dispose, the pressure on Australia would have been huge had they lost to Afghanistan. Now, they can play with more belief that someone can pull the rabbit out of the hat to save them under any situation. Also, this could take out the fear of failure from their heads, too.
Well, now India will be on their heels to face any team out of New Zealand or Pakistan or even Afghanistan in Semi Finals. And will keep a keen eye on Australia and South Africa final. As Glenn Maxwell, just showcased such a great resilience, some other squad members might just come out play more freely without any burden or fear of failure.
Hence, this makes this knock greatest not just because of the circumstance, it came but also the result it promises to deliver for the team. Let’s hope we are into great Semi-Finals and Finals action next week, at the business end of the tournament. Let’s hail Glenn Maxwell for thoroughly entertaining us once again like a freak that only, he can!