Hope to shut Dhoni down early: Maxwell
2-1 ahead in the seven-ODI series, the visiting Autralians will now take on India in MS Dhoni’s home town at the JSCA International Stadium Complex. The India skipper, who is known for his ability to put up a performance under trying conditions, posted an incredible century to set up Game 3 in Mohali.
Talking about their plans against him, while speaking to the media in Ranchi, Maxwell said, “I think we had pretty good plans for him last game. A couple of things didn't quite go to plan. I think we dropped a catch, and one ball just cleared mid-off. If we had taken those chances, I think we would have been chasing 260-270 and could have finished that game a lot earlier. I felt like our plans were very good. We shut him down early. We made him face a lot of dot balls at the start of the innings. So I felt that was pretty good. Hopefully here we get a little bit more assistance with the ball. Hopefully there will be a bit of spin as well, and we can really put a lot of pressure on him.”
“I think the first game when he had to do the same role and didn't quite do it, I think, that's perfect for us. We need to put that dot-ball pressure on him and hopefully shut him down early on,” he added.
While discussing their strategies further, he mentioned, “I think the lead up to the short-ball has probably been our best strategy so far. I don't think we are going to change our strategy too much. We thought we bowled pretty well. Unfortunately Dhoni went off at the end. He played brilliantly. I thought we bowled really well last game. It felt like we sorted out a few of their batsmen. Hopefully they have got a few worries in their camp. We are feeling pretty good at the moment.”
Although their bowling strength was on full display in Mohali, it was Australia’s batting that helped turn the tables on India in the third ODI to pull off a nail-biting win. While the top and middle orders consolidate and set up the innings for Australia, the batsmen coming lower down the order have been pitching in with valuable cameos to accelerate the innings or, like James Faulkner did in Mohali, a blitzkrieg to chase down the target. Glenn Maxwell has been one of the players who have been contributing with valuable quick-fire knocks to help Australia to big totals – although he made only three in the last game.
Speaking about his approach to batting, Maxwell said, “I think playing in South Africa for the A-series over there helped my game a lot. I really worked hard on my game over there. The wickets were pretty favourable for batting, so it was good to spend a bit of time in the middle.”
“Over the last couple of years I haven't really spent a whole lot of time in the middle. I have gone in when we have needed to tee off at the end and played different roles,” he added.
Run-out at Mohali, the big-hitter, who was also involved in a mix-up that resulted in him falling short of his crease in Jaipur as well, said, “I think I need to work on that. It's something that's happened to me a few times in the past. Hopefully it stops very soon.”
When asked about the absence of an individual ton from an Australian player in the series so far, Maxwell observed, “I think it just shows how well the team is playing as a whole. Even though no one has got a 100 yet, everyone has played pretty well. All the batters are in good form and have scored runs through the series.”
While highlighting that, this is not a big concern, he added, “The guys obviously want to post three figures, but even if they are not and we are getting the job done, I think we are very happy with the way we're going. I don't think we are too worried about triple-figure scores as long as we keep getting over that 300 barrier and keep posting big totals.”
And when asked what they would be working on after the emphatic victory in Mohali, he said, “I think everyone has got their own individual things that they are going to work on. No one walks away from a game and doesn't think about what they could have done different and think that they are totally happy. Every person in the squad is continually tinkering with their game and trying to get better.”