Will IPL 2021 turn out to be the year of Glenn Maxwell's redemption?

Will IPL 2021 turn out to be the year of Glenn Maxwell’s redemption?

A victory always seems sweeter when it comes after defeat, isn’t it?

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Let us get a fact out of the way first. Glenn Maxwell has played just 3 innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). And, he has already scored more runs in the 14th IPL edition than he scored during the whole of the 2020 edition of the IPL.

In the 2020 IPL season that was held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Maxwell could muster just 108 runs at an average of 15.43(we will look into it in detail later). He was struggling to put bat to ball, and people even pointed fingers at his inability with the bat. For a man known to be an excellent striker of the cricket ball, the Australian batsman could not even hit a single six during the whole of IPL 2020.

But 5 months later, his struggles seem to be a thing of the past. In the 3 matches that he has played in the 14th IPL edition, Maxwell has already scored 2 fifties and has also won a Player of the Match award. And, on 18th April 2021, Maxwell tore into the Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling attack in Chennai.

The Maxwell mayhem in Chennai

Glenn Maxwell walked in with the RCB scorecard reading 9/2. And, he started his innings in scintillating fashion. The Australian batting gladiator scored his first boundary off the second ball that he faced. Shakib Al Hasan pitched the ball short, Maxwell got onto the backfoot and played a dazzling square cut. The ball raced away to the boundary.

Maxwell also experienced a slice of luck early on in his innings. Pat Cummins bowled a length delivery outside off stump, the right-hander went for the drive, the ball took the inside edge of his willow and sped to the boundary. Maxwell’s first six of the match showed the kind of form that he was in. To a delivery that was tossed up on the middle stump by Shakib Al Hasan, Maxwell got onto the front foot and pummeled the cherry over deep mid-wicket.

And then, came the reverse sweep. Shakib bowled a delivery just outside off stump, and Maxwell brought out the reverse sweep from his vast repertoire, and the ball raced away past third man into the boundary. He was certainly putting on a show. Well, Maxwell is called the ‘Big Show’, isn’t it?

Then came a powerful square cut off the bowling of Prasidh Krishna. The bowler bowled the ball just a fraction short, and Maxwell did not miss out. He rocked onto the back foot in a flash and pummeled the cherry behind square for a boundary.

Then, came a clean strike. Varun Chakravarthy dropped the ball short, Maxwell made him pay, and deposited the ball over mid-wicket for six. Pat Cummins then tried to outdo Maxwell by bowling a sharp bouncer at close to 143 kmph. But then, using his bat like a sledgehammer, Maxwell just walloped Cummins over cover for four.

Maxwell got to his fifty with a single to Long On. He had scored his half-century off just 28 deliveries and had provided the ideal start for his side. He then played a shot that would have had the bowler, Harbhajan Singh, scratching his head. The experienced off-spinner bowled a delivery just outside off stump that spun into Maxwell. But then, the batsman created some room for himself and hit the cherry against the spin over the cover fielder. It was an extraordinary shot.

Then came a shot that had the commentator screaming ‘Oh my word’ in the commentary box. Varun Chakravarthy bowled a delivery on middle stump, Maxwell suddenly switched hands, turned left-handed, and walloped the ball over cover for six. Even a left-hander (Maxwell bats right-handed by the way) would have been proud of the way Maxwell deposited Chakravarthy for six. Maxwell was having fun. He was making batting look so simple.

But then, off the last ball of the 17th over, Maxwell’s blistering knock came to an end. To a short delivery from Cummins, Maxwell went for the pull, but the ball took the top edge of his willow and landed into the hands of the fielder at short fine leg. However, Maxwell had done the job for his side. He had allowed his side to occupy the driver’s seat and had blazed his way to a 49-ball 78.

Glenn Maxwell’s scintillating performance in the IPL thus far

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Glenn Maxwell has played 3 innings in the IPL thus far. And, in each of those 3 innings, he has made an impact for his side. In the table below, let us take a look at Maxwell’s performances in the 2021 edition of the IPL.

Innings No Runs Balls Faced S/R Opposition
1 39 28 139.29 Mumbai Indians
2 59 41 143.90 Sunrisers Hyderabad
3 78 49 159.18 Kolkata Knight Riders

From the above table, we can see that Maxwell has fired with the willow in every innings that he has played for the RCB side so far. But then, what is crucial here is the pace at which he has scored his runs. In all the 3 innings that he has batted thus far, his lowest strike rate has been 139.29. Maxwell has adopted a positive approach and has emerged as one of the vital cogs of the RCB side this year.

Another important point to note is, Maxwell’s strike rate has increased with every innings that he has played. And, that is directly proportional to the time that he has spent at the crease. In his first outing, he faced 28 deliveries and scored his runs at a strike rate of 139.39. Against the Sunrisers Hyderabad outfit, he faced 41 balls, and his strike rate improved to 143.90. And finally, in the encounter against the Kolkata Knight Riders, he faced 49 deliveries and scored his runs at a whopping strike rate of close to 160.

Glenn Maxwell’s misery in his previous two IPL editions

Now, let us delve into the numbers that Glenn Maxwell generated in the 2018 and 2020 editions of the IPL in the table below (Maxwell did not play the 2019 edition of the IPL).

Year Innings Runs Average 100s 50s
2018 12 169 14.08 0 0
2020 11 108 15.43 0 0

Isn’t it clear from the above table? Across the 2018 and 2020 IPL editions, Maxwell played 23 innings, but could not even score a single fifty. While in 2018 he averaged a poor 14.08, in the 2020 IPL season he averaged just 15.43.

IPL 2021 could well be Glenn Maxwell’s redemption

But then, Maxwell has turned his fortunes around in dramatic fashion in the 2021 IPL edition. He has taken the attack to the bowlers, and most importantly, he is back to being the Maxwell of old, the Maxwell who sent shivers down the spine of the opposition.

And, the 14th IPL season could well see him getting his redemption. For, a victory always seems sweeter when it comes after defeat, isn’t it?