The World Cup pits a depleted Bangladesh against a raging Australia. One of the reasons Glenn Maxwell’s improbable double-century against Afghanistan in Mumbai is considered the most excellent ODI knock of all time is because he was primarily relying on his arms and upper-body strength to hit a total of twenty-one fours and ten sixes while suffering from severe cramps and back spasms in the lower half of his body.
Maxwell ascribed his ability to smash enormous boundaries to a pre-match batting drill he utilized to perform in the BBL approximately eight to nine years ago.
“One of the things I used to work on before every BBL game – going back about eight or nine years – was foot drills where the first 12 balls I’d face I’d stay dead still but try and hit them as far as I could,” he stated to the Club Prairie Podcast. “It didn’t matter the distance; I needed to maintain my top body position for an extended period to achieve the proper trajectory and experience the sensation of hitting a six.”
By practicing that upper-body movement without utilizing your legs, you can effectively determine the location of your ideal lift point. Upon reflecting on those innings [against Afghanistan], it was evident that I needed to make some adjustments, as actual bowlers delivered various areas rather than merely half-volleys outside off stump. Making the most of my progress in my early years and adjusting as rapidly as possible.”
Maxwell responded when asked what helped him prepare for such unconventional shots: “I believe it has a lot to do with the positions I get myself into on the golf course, such as being confined to a tree and having to twitch my wrists or move them about. Such are the little things involved. It encourages innovation and challenges one’s limits.
Additionally, Maxwell disclosed on the podcast that his calf muscle experienced the most severe cramping and that at one juncture, the middle toe on his right foot “began to bend back,” which, when coupled with the back spasms, caused his “body to begin shutting down.”
When he collapsed to the ground and remained immobile shortly after finishing a single due to cramps, he was attended to by the team physio. The physio advised that Maxwell’s condition would deteriorate as he descended the lengthy staircase from the dressing room at the Wankhede Stadium to the field, making it particularly difficult. As the batter “couldn’t control my breathing,” the physiotherapist advised Maxwell to reorient himself and bat more slowly, adding that he should drink more water.
One of Maxwell’s defining characteristics, not only against Afghanistan but also against the Netherlands during his record-breaking 40-ball century and in the past in white-ball cricket, was the ability to locate gaps in all corners of the ground, regardless of the line and length of the ball or the bowlers.
“Once I get in, I feel like I can set myself early enough in my mind and have a good idea of where I’m trying to hit it,” according to Maxwell. “I feel like my hands can get me out of trouble if the ball is not quite in that area and do I give myself a few options for different lengths.”