Glenn Maxwell reveals how he learnt Afghanistan’s traits in Australia’s run chase
For Glenn Maxwell, it was not easy to beat Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup 2023. From Australia chasing 91/7, Maxwell pulled off a miracle to help the five-time champions chase down 292 against Afghanistan. Maxwell was battling cramps during his batting and repeatedly hit one leg, as he scored an unbeaten 201 off just 128 balls.
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Maxwell joined Australia in trouble at 49/4 in the ninth over. Azmatullah Omarzai was on a past hat-trick, after taking the wickets of Josh Inglis and David Warner, and Maxwell recalled that hat-trick moment.
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“I gave him a leg and I couldn’t believe he didn’t take it to the keeper. I tried to stare blankly and not look guilty. But I saw them running around the batter a lot. I was hoping they would make a few emotional decisions, and burn a few reviews soon. And if I had a couple of close lbw calls against them, it could affect them and I could start playing on their emotions,” Maxwell said in a chat with Adam Gilchrist and Michael Vaughan on the Prairie Fire Club podcast.
Although Maxwell fell while batting on 24 and 33, he was well aware of the situation of the game.
“What I did earlier was play one goal scythe against Noor Ahmad to make sure the deep back point would become a bit smoother, and I knew they had to have a goal at some point. They wouldn’t get a middle wicket if they tried to bowl a leggie.
“ So, with the sweep I created a gap on either side of the middle, both sides of the lid and over the top. As soon as I got outside of it, I could use my hands through gaps. I was even setting up a dot ball to get those boundary gaps,” said the 35-year-old.
Maxwell said he knew that if he started playing a few shots every one or two, it would lead to some “fighting” among the Afghanistan players.
“The energy they had in the first 15-20 games was great and we’ve seen a lot from them. I’ve played (against) a lot of sub-continental teams and one thing I’ve always found, if you could take the sting out of the game, not by running but by basically being there, you play one or two in each couple. overs and you can see how smooth it starts to get.”
“They start a bit of bickering, infighting, finger-pointing, weapon-raising, fielders not paying attention, it starts to settle,” said the Melbourne-born cricketer.
Australia have qualified for the semi-finals of the World Cup and will face South Africa in Kolkata on November 16.
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