Having played 13 seasons, Royal Challengers Bangalore still haven’t won the IPL Trophy. In every IPL season, we tend to ask similar questions, is this RCB’s season? Will they experience a change of fortunes this year? And this time, they have commenced the season giving back-to-back impactful performances. The team, as a group has done exceptionally well. Every player has contributed in some or another way. Primarily, they’ve been massively benefitted by the addition of Glenn Maxwell. In just 4 games, he has already given a couple of match-winning performances.
Glenn Maxwell celebrates his fifty (Royal Challengers Bangalore | Instagram)
He has always been a terrific performer in the international level, but IPL hasn’t been the same for him. Maxwell’s tally of 176 runs in IPL 2021 is only bettered 3 times in his IPL career. That tells you about his performance in IPL since 2014.
What are the reasons behind his amazing comeback?
Maxwell never scored more than 200 runs in his IPL career except in the years 2014 and 2017. There are some strong reasons behind his comeback. Let’s have a look at some of them.
1. Form being in his favour
Form plays a very important role in any player’s performance. Maxwell had a dreadful season in IPL 2020 with no sixes to his name. He scored a mere 108 runs in 13 matches which he played. Later, he had a great limited-overs series in Australia against India with 3 fifties in 6 games (ODI’s and T20I’s combined).
Glenn Maxwell celebrates his fifty (Cricket Australia | Twitter)
Scoring 167 runs in the ODI series at an average of 83.50 (2nd highest in the series), the all-rounder turned out to be an X-factor for his team. He was spectacular in the T20I as well. He was brimmed with confidence. The New Zealand series was a cherry on the cake. He played a match-defining knock of 70(31) in the 3rd T20I. That did make him self-assured leading up to the Indian T20 league.
2. Position of batting and entry point:
This is Maxwell’s 9th IPL appearance. There’s a certain pattern that could be observed when he did have a decent season in his IPL career. Glenn, most of the times, was utilized inaccurately. Even though being an attacking batsman, Maxwell isn’t a desired finisher in the shortest format. Remember Maxwell’s IPL career-defining innings? He scored 95(43) in the inaugural game of IPL 2014. Where did he bat in that innings? He batted at number 3! Maxwell loves to be the aggressor and take the game forward. He doesn’t like to start hitting it from the first ball.
Maybe was pushed a bit too deep and expected to go from ball one, which I am not pretty good at.Glenn Maxwell (regarding his failure in the past couple of years in IPL).
And that was reflecting in his performance. Moreover, the second season when he did have a good time on the field was in 2017. He was leading the side back then and he made himself bat at number 4. That’s his game, he’ll take the game forward with probably a boundary in every over. That’s what he has shown this time around as well. He came to bat in some difficult situations.
He took his time and then started attacking the bowling. RCB had the lowest run rate in the middle overs in IPL 2020. They’ve definitely found a solution for that problem this year.
3. Less Pressure:
As a finisher, you have excessive baggage on your back. You need to fire the majority of times and there’s pressure to perform as there’s no one behind you. Finishing the games isn’t that easy job and that’s the reason the world hasn’t seen too many successful finishers. The batsman doesn’t have a lot of freedom, he has to only target particular bowlers. It’s very important to differentiate between finishers and aggressors.
It’s nice to have batters behind you, you have freedom with AB to come and it’s a very similar role I have in the Australian cricket team. The support staff have been backing me as well. It’s just about using the experience. Get myself in and then go for the runs. Probably having those guys behind me is a luxury at RCB.Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore | Instagram)
4. Team Culture
It might not seem that important but the team’s environment and culture play a massive role in a player’s performance. It’s all about how much are you enjoying the game. Maxwell has been enjoying his time in RCB camp since he came.
“I felt like I have been right at home since day one, the coaching staff have been extremely supportive so have the players, it has been great fun so far”.Glenn Maxwell
Having said that, Glenn Maxwell’s job is not done yet. He still has to perform consistently and help RCB get the taste of success.
Featured Image: Royal Challengers Bangalore | Twitter
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