Swashbuckling all-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s ankle injury could be a major concern for Australia going into the ODI World Cup slated to be played in India from October 5.
Maxwell has been an integral part of the Australian white ball set-up for a decade and his absence could hamper Australia’s chances in the showpiece event. Maxwell confirmed that he has to carefully manage his workload ahead of the mega tournament.
The Aussies are due to travel to India in the lead-up to the World Cup and are slated to play three ODIs against the Men in Blue to get acclimatize to the conditions in India.
While Maxwell intends to play some part in that series, he clearly suggested that he won’t be putting extra pressure on himself trying to rush in.
Maxwell was ruled out of the ongoing four-match T20I series against South Africa after sustaining an injury on the left ankle, the same leg that he broke in a freakish accident last year. He experienced some soreness in a training session and was subsequently flown back to Australia.
“I still want to play some part of that India series,” Maxwell was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo in an exclusive interview.
“But I’m not feeling any pressure on it. The selectors and the staff have been brilliant with me as well. They don’t want to put too much pressure on me to sort of set that date because they know they’ve got a bit of extra time before the World Cup.
Given the importance of Maxwell in coloured clothing, it won’t be a sensible decision from the Australian team management to rush him. The injury might work as a blessing in disguise as some extra hours might help Maxwell recover in time for the showpiece event.
“So instead of rushing it and probably putting myself a week or two behind, being able to give myself extra time and make sure we get through the whole tournament,” he further added.
That said, let us divulge three possible reasons why Maxwell’s absence will be a big blow to Australia if he misses the 2023 World Cup:
# 1 Maxwell lends the ideal balance
The hard-hitting middle-order batter who is also a handy off-break bowler, Maxwell lends a good balance with his all-round credentials. He will come in handy with the ball in Indian conditions.
With the ball expected to grip and turn in most of the venues, Maxwell’s absence might force the team management to tinker with their balance.
Australia doesn’t boast of this too many spinning all-rounders. While Tim David who was recently included in the Australian ODI squad can roll his arm over, it is unlikely that he can feel the void left by Maxwell.
Australia would be hoping that the star all-rounder recovers in time and plays a major role in Australia’s World Cup campaign. Australia starts their World Cup campaign with a game against India on October 8.
# 2 Maxwell’s ability to turn the game within the blink of an eye
A blistering stroke-maker, Maxwell’s absence could be a massive blow to Australia as they prepare for the World Cup. Maxwell’s ability to turn the game on its head from any situation makes him one of the most potent threats in world cricket.
Not many batters in the ODI format can boast of scoring at a strike rate of 124 after playing over 120 matches. He has scored 3490 runs in his ODI career so far at an average of 33.88.
Australia lacks the firepower in the middle and the lower middle order which is why Maxwell is such a vital cog in the line-up. On his day, Maxwell has the ability to destroy any bowling attack and can win matches from any situation.
# 3 Acrobatic fielding
Besides lending an ideal balance with the bat and ball, Maxwell is one of the finest fielders going around.
An all-round fielder who has the ability to field anywhere in the ground, Australia would definitely miss his presence in the field if he does miss out on the quadrennial event.
Maxwell is a gun fielder square of the wicket towards the off side and can be a perfect boundary rider during the death overs.
All in all, he is the X-factor player for Australia and his absence could be a telling blow for the five-time world champions.