In just over 12 months, life has come full circle for the Big Show. Last year at around the same time, it seemed as if it was going to be a Big No Show for Glenn Maxwell.
He had taken a break from cricket citing burnout as one of the reasons and there were doubts if he would come back. But Maxi has come back with a bang.
He landed in Dubai less than 48 hours ago fully clothed in PPE kit along with other Australian and English players. Only this time he comes to Dubai with a renewed vigour to re-establish himself as the Big Show.
For over eight years, Australia has continued to invest in his ability, even as he has frustrated one and all with his inability to convert his skill into performance. But three days ago, he showed just why he is rated so highly with a top-notch hundred which helped seal a rare ODI series win over hosts England.
All that he needs is someone backing him completely. In his best friend Aaron Finch, Maxwell gets just that in Australia’s white-ball set-up.
“Even in the lockdown period, I was training with Finchy and we were able to talk about my role and certain things. I just had so much clarity on what he expected of me,” said Maxwell after the England ODI series.
“I was able to take the game on with the clarity he gave me before the tournament started and was able to ride on that momentum as well. Just knowing I had the backing of him is awesome.”
Maxwell and Finch have been close friends, so much so that he was the Emcee at his Australia white-ball captain’s wedding two years ago, even as they missed the opening week of IPL 2018.
Then despite landing late, Maxwell had complete support from the Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) head coach Ricky Ponting who has been his mentor of sorts. But the 2018 sojourn ended in disappointment.
The recent English tour was a return to top-flight cricket for Maxwell, just like the ongoing IPL is going to be a comeback not just to the world’s biggest T20 league, post the absence in 2019, but also to Kings XI Punjab.
Anil Kumble, Director of Cricket at Kings XI Punjab, backs Maxwell completely. “In the players’ auction we addressed that we needed an impact player and that is why we bought Glenn Maxwell. He can field and bat, he is a gun fielder as well,” Kumble told ANI.
Maxwell was a Kings XI Punjab regular till 2017 and even captained the franchise till it again went all pear-shaped.
But things are finally looking up for Maxwell as he is looking to turn a corner, this time also with his bowling.
We will have the first sighting of a refreshed, born-again Maxwell on Sunday when he features against his mentor Ponting’s Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Stadium. Hopefully, this time he will really show us just why he is nicknamed Big Show.