The hopes of a series win were completely out of sight and out of the mind of the Australian squad members when Glenn Maxwell joined Alex Carey in the middle at 73/5, 230 runs away from victory. While Carey provided him solid support from the other end, Maxwell batted freely, clearing the boundary at will. The duo hit hundreds as Australia pulled off a heist under the dark skies at Old Trafford, taking the series 2-1 in the process.
Speaking about the situation that he found his team in when he walked into bat, Glenn Maxwell said it was either ‘hit or bust’, which allowed him to play his natural game. The all-rounder, who scored his first ODI hundred in 5 years, said, “There wasn’t much to lose so I thought I could put a bit more pressure on them and make the most of that short boundary early on and just back my bat swing. I was able to get a couple clean early on in the innings and then started to build with Alex.
“And I knew once I got into the innings they would bowl a bit differently to me and I might be able to cash in on some loose balls but everything pretty much went to plan. The way our partnership was built was outstanding and I am really happy to get that result.
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He continued, “I was thinking we haven’t got much to lose so I had a bit of freedom to try and take the bowling on and put some pressure on them. I suppose coming in 5-73 it’s probably hit or bust at that stage. If we lost another wicket in the next five or 10 overs it was pretty hard to expect the bowlers to do the job.
“So, once we started to build that partnership and take a couple of risks early and get away with them, we were able to rise with that momentum going forward. And then having trust in my own technique and in my partner at the other end, to get us to the point where Starcy and Cummo could get us over the line at the end was pretty awesome.”
Maxwell talked about the experience of building a 212-run stand with Alex Carey. He said, “I really enjoyed the partnership, seeing him get his first ODI hundred is pretty nice, he works so damn hard.” On Carey, he added, “He’s one of the great guys to be around, I see him every day, he makes me smile. To see him get the rewards at the other end was extremely special and to beat the number one team on their home soil was awesome.”
Australia became the first team to beat England in an ODI series in England since 2015. Maxwell attributed the win to the hard work put in by the team in the lead up to the series, and the fact that he could train during the lockdown with Aaron Finch, allowing him to have conversations with the skipper that gave him clarity about his role.
“To take them down on home soil when they have been playing pretty consistent cricket over here and for us to start our summer off after a long time in lockdown with a series win against them was pretty incredible for this group. We’ve worked so hard since coming together and it is just great that everyone could do the work back at home and when we got over here throughout the practice matches and training to get ourselves up to take on the world’s best and beat them on their home soil.
“I was lucky that I was able to train with Finchy during the lockdown and we were able to talk about my role and talk about certain things and I had so much clarity on what he expected from me. I think that gave me good clarity out there, I was able to take the game on with the clarity he gave me before the tournament started and ride on that momentum and knowing I had the backing of him was awesome.
“I always feel like I have batted better for Australia when we have been in a bit of trouble. To be able to get us through that and to a position we could win the game was really pleasing.”