This is an age when sportspersons are shielded from even the mildest of criticism. In this context, Glenn Maxwell must be praised for volunteering to face the media and answer tough questions.

It came as a surprise when Maxwell walked into the room in the post-match press conference here on Monday. The Australian played no part in Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the run-fest. And with 32 runs in six IPL games, he has been woefully out of form.

Maxwell made an admirably honest admission when asked if he missed the match due to an injury.

“I went to Faf (du Plessis) and the coaches after the last game and said I felt it was probably time we tried someone else. I have been in this situation in the past where you can keep playing and get yourself deeper into a hole. I think now is actually a good time for me to give myself a bit of a mental and physical break; get my body right. If I’m required to get in during the tournament, I can hopefully get back into a really solid mental and physical space where I can still have an impact,” Maxwell stated.


Maxwell has only scored 32 runs in six IPL games this season

The Australian says he has not put a timeline on the duration of his break, but he will hope to get back to form in time for the T20 World Cup

The hard-hitting batter went through a similar bad run of form in 2020 when he played for Kings XI Punjab

Maxwell made just 108 runs in 11 innings — in a season best forgotten

The 35-year-old adds that the physical and mental toll of a tough IPL 2024 wore him down

“We have had a pretty big deficiency straight after the PowerPlay, which has been my area of strength over the last couple of seasons. I felt like I wasn’t contributing in a positive way with the bat, and with the results and the position we find ourselves on the table, I think it’s a good time to give someone else an opportunity to show their wares. Hopefully, someone can make that spot their own,” Maxwell added.

Fickle nature of T20s

The 35-year-old did not put a timeline on the duration of his break, but he will hope to get back to form in time for 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which commences in a little over a month. Maxwell was unable to pinpoint exactly what went wrong this season, putting it down to the fickle nature of T20 cricket.

“T20 cricket can be like that sometimes — it’s a pretty fickle game. Even if you look at the first game, I ran one off the middle of the bat to the ’keeper. I picked up the length really well, saw a scoring opportunity, but opened the face a little bit too much. When you are going well, that goes wide of the gloves, you get a boundary, you are four off one, and you are away for the tournament.

“I probably just haven’t got away — it’s as simple as that. In the first few games, I feel I made reasonably good decisions, but I was still finding ways to get out. It can happen in T20 cricket and when it snowballs like that, you can go searching and try too hard and forget the basics of the game,” Maxwell said.

The hard-hitting batter went through a similar bad run of form in 2020, when he played for Kings XI Punjab. Maxwell scored only 108 runs in 11 innings — in a season best forgotten. In later interviews, Maxwell stated that KXIP team management did not utilise his full potential by keeping him low down the order.

Different scenario

Asked if the RCB team management could do more to support him, Maxwell said: “That was probably a different scenario. Back then the thing that was hurting me was that I was bowling really well. So I was actually playing more as a spinner who was used at the back end with the bat. We had K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, who were the two leading run-scorers in the competition at that time, so there wasn’t a lot of balls left in the game for me. So I wasn’t able to get any match rhythm. And when I was, it was only for a few balls here and there.

“So I said the same thing to the KXIP management that we can have an overseas bowler in my place. But we didn’t have an off-spinner as well. So I sort of played as an overseas off-spinner who could bat a little bit,” Maxwell said.

“The management here at RCB has been outstanding. We’ve been working together on taking a fair bit of ownership and the off-field leadership staff is trying to help out as much as they can.

Glenn Maxwell.

Glenn Maxwell.
| Photo Credit:

Unfortunately, runs just haven’t come the way they should have when you are in really good form. I don’t think I’ve had a better six months in cricket leading into this tournament. So it’s frustrating when it ends up like this. But if I can get my body and my mind right, there’s no reason I can’t finish the tournament well if I do get another opportunity,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell afforded a laugh when asked if he would have liked to put off his break by one more game. After all, Monday’s encounter produced a record number of runs — SRH piled up 287 for three, and RCB responded with 262 for seven.

“I did notice during the PowerPlay that the pitch was not as slow and two-paced as it has been in the first few games. And I realised it was probably a bad game to miss; it would have been nice to be out there batting. But as I said, I wanted to give myself not just the physical break but also the mental break to give myself the right to play professional cricket. I take a lot of pride in my performance, and I put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get my body right for every game.

“And it has been a pretty tough struggle, given my body is on the wrong side of 30. I think that physical and mental toll probably just wore me down a little bit,” Maxwell said.


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