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Features and Interviews

Disappointed couldn’t finish innings: Maxwell

All-rounder speaks about playing big knocks

All-rounder speaks about playing big knocks

A bit hitter of the ball, Glenn Maxwell is known for his quick-fire knocks lower down the order. At the JSCA International Stadium the lower middle-order bat displayed another dimension of his batting.

With Australia reeling on 71 for four, he joined George Bailey to put together a record fourth-wicket stand against India worth 153 runs. Unlike his knocks earlier in the series, where he stepped on the peddle from the word go, Maxwell started in first gear today and helped revive the innings, before stepping on the accelerator. Unfortunately for the visitors, he was trapped leg-before by Vinay Kumar bringing to end a well-complied innings – eight short of what would have been his maiden ODI century.

Although disappointed at missing out on the fireworks towards the end of the innings, Maxwell said it was good to be able to spend time in the middle. While speaking to bcci.tv he spoke about working on his batting and his role.  

Excerpts:

After the cameos in the last few games, we saw you pace your innings today. How did you adapt to this pace?

I suppose I had to adapt. After losing those few wickets at the start, I had to hold up my run for a little bit later. Unfortunately I missed out on a bit of party time in the last 10 overs by getting out. At that stage it was a bad time to lose two wickets; we had just lost George Bailey as well. I am a bit disappointed that I couldn’t finish off the innings, but it was nice to get a few runs as well as spend a bit more time out in the middle.

Besides your usual big shots we also saw you play drives

I have really improved my bat over the last six months. I have done a lot of work on it and it has all started to come together now. It is nice to get these kinds of opportunities where you get to spend a bit more time out in the middle. I am glad it came off today.

What are the areas that you have been working on and have you been working with anyone particularly?  

For me it is more mental. If I allow myself a bit more time to get set, I take more time to actually play those big shots later on in the innings. So that was perfect today. I was able to work my way through the innings. At one stage I think I was 40 off 40 and I was able to work my way from there. It was a nice start and it was nice to finish off as well.

You have been involved in partnerships with George Bailey, Adam Voges and James Faulkner. How do you view those?

It is always fun batting with George. I think we have had a few good partnerships together. It was nice to see him at the other end, so you can bounce ideas off him. And when you are thinking about playing the big shots, it’s good having him bring you back in line or having him backing you a 100 percent. It was nice to bat with George and it was good to put together 153 today.

What is your role?

My role is obviously to finish off the innings. If at all the opening partnership gets us past 100 and really sets us up for the last 40 overs or so, I like coming in at the end and having a bit of a swing. But it is always also nice to get a lot of time out in the middle.

What is the key to batting in India?

I think it is to give yourself a lot of time. The boundaries are a bit smaller in India than back home. You can clear the boundary and score a lot of runs in the last 10 overs, so I think it is about giving yourself extra bit of time to get in against spinners and making sure that you are ready to go in the last 10 overs.

How does your experience of playing in India as part of the IPL and touring here earlier help the team?

Definitely, playing with them and training with them, we have two tournaments with them in a year, so it is always nice to watch them train, train with them and play against them and really know them for everything that they have got. They have got a lot of experience over here playing all year round. I have played against the left-armer in the emerging tours game and A game, so it’s nice to know their bowlers. It gives me an edge when I walk out to bat.

So how does your insight help the team?

We talk about their bowlers at length and ways to play them and areas to hit them. Especially with four fielders outside the ring, it makes it a lot easier through the field and put pressure back on the bowler. We have a lot of means and we felt like we had their measure today, which is good.

Features and Interviews

Plan was to not give openers room: Shami

Ensuring line and length were on the mark was important says India pacer

Ensuring line and length were on the mark was important says India pacer

India pacer Mohammed Shami’s first spell to send back Australia’s top three batsmen for 32 runs was the highlight for the hosts in the washed out fourth ODI at the JSCA International Stadium. Brought into the team for the match in Ranchi, he used the conditions to his advantage to deliver a telling blow up front, after MS Dhoni opted to field in overcast conditions.

Shami dislodged Aaron Finch’s bails in his first over, while his back-of-length delivery a little later took the edge of Phillip Hughes’ bat that was pouched by Dhoni behind the stumps. In his next over he castled Shane Watson to give India a leg up.

While reflecting on his plans later, Shami spoke about utilising the conditions and told bcci.tv that pace with swing is important for his bowling.   

Excerpts from his interview:

Coming into the team with India 1-2 down in the series, what was the pressure like?

Once I go down in the field, I don’t think about the pressure. I just focus on my bowling and my work. If I take pressure when I am on the field, then my job will become difficult so I don’t think about those things. I think about what I have to do and work on that alone.

How did you prepare considering that bowlers have been hit so far in the tournament?

I just did the usual things. Kept in mind that along with the pace I have to ensure the line and length was right, and my main thing is where I get the swing, so I try doing that. The kind of help that the bowlers got from the wicket in the first hour showed how good it was to bowl out there today. 

What was your plan? Can you tell us about the three wickets?

I had thought that I won’t give their openers room and our plan was to concede as few runs as possible; so that is what I was working to do. And the plan was successful. 

You varied the length and even pitched the ball up. What were your plans?

The important thing today was that it was a fresh wicket and so it is a given that there would help for the bowlers from the wicket in the first hour. And there was good carry as well and there was movement; so that was good for me. So I was trying to use the conditions. With the swing and the carry it was good for me to bowl at the batsmen.

After getting three wickets up front India were unable to maintain that pressure as Australia nearly got to 300. Your thoughts?  

We had benefitted from the help that we got from the wicket in the first hour. But then after the interruption due to rain, the wicket became a bit slow and low and so the wicket eased out. Once the wicket is slow and low, that does make a difference.

You were consistently bowling in high 130s and low 140s. How are you working on building and maintaining that kind of pace?

I work hard with the trainers in the gym and at the ground. So we work on maintaining ourselves.

How important is pace for you?

For me pace is important but along with that swing is also very important; so I keep working. I think pace with swing is the best thing for me.

When did you know that you will be playing today and what was the captain’s advice to you?

Captain is always calm and never says much. All the 15 players in the team have to be prepared, so everyone is. In the meeting that we have before coming we are told. Otherwise all are ready for playing.