NZ vs Aus 1st T20 – Glenn Maxwell horror show: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fought tooth and nail during IPL 2021 Auctions to buy Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. After being bought for 14.25 Cr last week, Maxwell’s first cricket outing turned out to be nothing less than horror show. Now the fans on twitter are asking, did RCB made a mistake by buying Maxwell ?
NZ vs Aus 1st T20 – Glenn Maxwell horror show in the 1st T20
In the first T20I against New Zealand, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Maxwell was poor in the field and horrible with the bat.
Horror Show 1 – During the 1st T20I against NZ, James Neesham skied a chance. It was between Maxwell and Daniel Sams to take the catch but a miscommunication between the two saw neither of them going for the ball, wasting a golden opportunity. Neesham scored 26 off 15 as NZ posted 184/5. But if they could have avoided the “real mess”, the total would have been moderate.
“It looked like Sams was running around the ball and maybe looking at Maxwell to see if he’s coming in, but they made a meal of this,” Australia’s opener David Warner said after the innings.
Horror Show 2: However, it did not end there. Batting at No 5, with Australia down 16/3, Maxwell was expected to rebuild the innings and help in the chase. But on the fifth ball, he tried to play away from his body and nicked it to second slip off Neesham, again.
Did RCB made a mistake by buying Maxwell ?
RCB was left red-faced as in the morning itself they had proudly released the video on twitter showing planning and strategy behind acquiring Maxwell at IPL Auction.
During the mock auction, RCB’s Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson had predicted a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings. That eventually made it easy for him at the auction. RCB revealed the preparations behind the scenes of mission Maxwell in a video on Twitter, captioned, “Bold Diaries: IPL Mock Auction Planning for Glenn Maxwell”.
In the video, Hesson can be seen preparing to go to war with CSK for the Australian all-rounder’s service. That RCB needed a spinner all-rounder to replace Moeen Ali, made it a mission.
Hesson anticipated CSK’s late involvement in the bidding war. As CSK joined the race only after the bid reached Rs 4.4 crore, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders soon pulled out. The two were the first to open the bidding. Then on, it was a direct war between RCB and CSK that the former won.
Glenn Maxwell in the IPL:
Total runs: 1,505 runs in 82 matches at 22.13 average, at a strike rate of 154.67
Wickets: 19 wickets in 82 matches; economy of 8.57
Does the record support RCB’s decision?
But have RCB made the right decision? Maxwell hasn’t lived up to the expectation in the last two editions of IPL that he played in, scoring only 277 runs in 25 matches. His ability with the ball has also been questioned with just eight wickets in exchange for 8.57 economy for Punjab Kings.
However, this is not the first time. Before he joined Punjab Kings in 2020 after spending a season in Delhi Capitals, the issue of inconsistency was raised. He was coming back from an injury and did not seem to be in his top form. But Delhi paid Rs 9 crore to secure his service. It resulted in yet another disappointing season, scoring 132 runs at an average of only 14.08. Delhi parted their ways with Maxwell.
Back at Punjab, who paid Rs 10.7 crore for him at the 2020 auction, Maxwell disappointed yet again. He scored only 108 runs from 13 matches at an average of 15.42. With the ball, he was a flop too, taking only three wickets, conceding runs at an economy rate of 8.04. That brings to the question of why did RCB get him.
Hesson explained the management’s decision. Not only RCB needed a player like him but also someone of his calibre. “The reason why we like him is that he’s the most dangerous in overs 10-15. Since 2014 in the middle overs, his average is 28 with a strike rate of 161.5. That would do us beautifully,” Hesson said in the footage.
“And he can be a bowling option. We need somebody in that top 6 that can bowl 3-4 overs, but Maxwell can bowl two. Those numbers are exceptional,” Hesson explained.
Apart from the 2014 season, where Maxwell scored 552 runs at an average of 34.50, the Australian has not been in his best form. In the Big Bash League, he did not have a great campaign either. But Maxwell is a gamble that Hesson and RCB are ready to play.
Only IPL 2021 will tell if RCB’s decision to acquire Maxwell will bear fruit or will cost them another IPL season.