Australia's Glenn Maxwell shows up in time for World Cup
Glenn Maxwell has occasionally burnt the fingers of those who have invested in him but the mercurial all-rounder could be set to produce big dividends in Australia`s World Cup campaign.
Melbourne: Glenn Maxwell has occasionally burnt the fingers of those who have invested in him but the mercurial all-rounder could be set to produce big dividends in Australia`s World Cup campaign.
The hard-hitting 26-year-old was dubbed `The Big Show` after winning a million-dollar contract to play in the 2013 Indian Premier League.
The nickname looked like a good fit during Saturday`s World Cup opener against England when he dazzled a huge Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd with an entertaining 66 from 40 balls.
The knock helped drive Australia to a near-record one-day international total at the venue after man-of-the-match Aaron Finch set the platform for victory with a glittering 135.
It also underlined the World Cup co-hosts` impressive batting depth after top order batsmen David Warner, Shane Watson and Steven Smith were all dismissed cheaply.
With just a reasonable batting average of 31.68 from his 42 ODIs, Maxwell has never quite lived up to the hype that propelled him into the national team in 2012 and often been condemned for throwing away his wicket with mental lapses.
Finch, however, felt Maxwell`s 10th half-century was evidence of a delayed maturity for the slow-bowling all rounder, who blasted 122 against India in a warm-up last week and a match-winning 95 against England in the final of the Tri-series.
"Everyone has seen the capabilities Glenn`s got when he`s confident and when he`s playing well," opening batsman Finch said after the 111-run win over England.
"To come off scoring 95 in Perth I thought he played absolutely beautifully and then get his first 100 in a warm-up against India, I guess that`s just flowed on and he`s playing some really smart cricket which can`t always be said for his game at times.
"I think he would say that. There are times when he makes some poor choices, but over the last little while he`s made some great choices and given himself a chance to get into an innings.
"The damage he can do is unbelievable and when you have a guy who can field as well as he can and handy with the ball, it`s a pretty special package to have."
One of the poorer recent choices came only six weeks ago when Maxwell was bowled for a golden duck when he failed to play a shot during Australia`s domestic T20 tournament.
Dubbed among "the worst leaves ever" by local media, Melbourne Star Maxwell danced down the wicket to Brisbane Heat`s fast bowler Ryan Duffield only to shoulder arms and watch in misery as the straight ball crashed into his middle stump.
Seen as proof the player was in meltdown after a wretched one-day series against South Africa, Maxwell`s place in the World Cup squad came under intense scrutiny.
His response has been impressive and after torching England in the Tri-series final, Maxwell tore into critics before the India warm-up for calling him more `show-off` than `Big Show` .
For a player who described himself as a player with "X-factor", "flair" and a "match-winner" before his international debut, Maxwell said he was tired of the nicknames.
"I don`t want to be known as `The Big Show` or anything like that -- I just want to be known as an integral part of Australian cricket who is hopefully going to take us to the World Cup," he said.
However he is billed, fans will hope for an encore from Maxwell when Australia take on Bangladesh in their second group match in Brisbane on Saturday.