Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20, Melbourne

'We need to take more batting risks' - Maxwell

Brydon Coverdale

January 27, 2013

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Glenn Maxwell chipped in with two wickets, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st T20, Sydney, January 26, 2013
As one of the better fielders in Australia's side, Glenn Maxwell knows he needs to energise the team in the field © Getty Images
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When asked what areas Australia needed to improve in order to level the Twenty20 series after their loss to Sri Lanka in Sydney, allrounder Glenn Maxwell's answer was revealing: batting, bowling and fielding. Despite the fact that Australia were in the contest until Thisara Perera struck a pair of sixes to get Sri Lanka home in the 19th over of their chase, they knew deep down that had been outplayed in all areas.

Batting first they scored a sub-par 137, of which David Warner made 90 - the highest percentage of a team's total ever scored by one player in a T20 international. They finished with seven wickets in hand, yet could not lift the tempo against Sri Lanka's outstanding bowling, managing only 36 runs from the last five overs. In the field, they missed opportunities. Their own death bowling was imprecise and too easy to score off.

"Very disappointing. We felt like we got outplayed in all three forms which is not a good thing," Maxwell said in Melbourne on Sunday as the Australians prepared for Monday night's second game. "We've got a lot of things to take out of the game and work on for Melbourne. Not a whole lot of positives came out of the night apart from Davey's innings."

That Matthew Wade and Maxwell at Nos. 6 and 7 were not required to bat, yet Australia were unable to post a winning total, was a concern. In his first match back in the national side in nearly a year, Shaun Marsh struggled for 6 from 17 balls, and Adam Voges was unbeaten on 25 from 29 at the end. Remarkably, not one of Australia's batsmen besides Warner hit a four, although the captain George Bailey did clear the boundary for one six.

In part, that was down to Sri Lanka's excellent bowling. Lasith Malinga confirmed why he is regarded by many opponents as the world's best T20 bowler and was hit for nothing worse than ones and twos all innings. Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis were all impressive as well. But Maxwell said the Australians had discussed after the match mixing things up more to throw the bowlers off, and if he faces Malinga in Melbourne he intends to use the depth of the crease to alter the bowler's length.

"We spoke about that we have to find a way to score, whether it be change up or take an educated risk," Maxwell said. "We had seven wickets in hand at the end. We just probably needed to take a few more risks at the end. I think we'll see some different techniques shown. There won't be the steady cricket that we probably showed last night.

"We were very good last night as far as hitting gaps and singles but that probably would have been more handy in the one-day team. In the T20 stuff we've just got to be ahead of the game, whether it be lap-shots, reverse-sweeps, backing away, charging, all those sorts of things we have to be up to date with that. We saw Dilshan's scoop last night, that put us on the back foot. That was an incredible shot. It was a calculated risk and he played it really well."

Not that the Australians built up the pressure on Sri Lanka's batsmen either. Maxwell put down a sharp chance in the third over when Kushal Perera cut hard to point and a couple of other half-chances later went begging, a run-out opportunity was missed when the ball was thrown to the wrong end, and generally there was a sloppiness not usually seen in Australian sides. Maxwell said as one of the sharper fielders in the side, he needed to lead by example.

"Myself and Dave Warner are probably the two leaders of that," he said. "We're at cover and point. We're running around a fair bit. We've got to be the energy and lifting the rest of the team as well. Me dropping the catch in the third over doesn't get us off to a good start and we've just got to lift. That's the main thing. The senior guys and the better fielders have to lift the rest of the group."

One of the most memorable pieces of fielding came from Ben Laughlin, who ran backward from point and completed a diving take to get rid of Tillakaratne Dilshan, but Laughlin might find himself dropped for the second game after a disappointing bowling effort. He leaked 46 runs from his 3.5 overs, including three sixes in his final two overs as the Sri Lankans completed the chase, and the selectors will be tempted to replace him with James Faulkner for the Melbourne match.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by sydneysider1 on (January 28, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

80% of Australian team players are trying to secure their position in the Team. They need to have at least 5 players that is permanent so that they will take risk.

Posted by class9ryan on (January 28, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Its nothing more than common sense from Maxwell. The way Voges and Shaun Marsh played they were always going 2 lose this match.... Maxwell or Wade should be promoted up the order to do some hitting with the openers

Posted by whofriggincares on (January 28, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

@acnipuna , Yep great bowling at the death by the lions. But Warners innings of 90 of 62 is a big pass mark. He had a fantastic strike rate and if he had some help at the other end a score of 160+ could have been expected. The weak Lankan batting has struggled to score ANY decent totals all tour whether it be tests ODI or T/20 . They even looked shaky chasing 137 at times. I think Jimmyrob83 made a good point about Marsh and Voges they looked to be batting for future selection and were afraid to get out. The truth is both were in great form coming into the match and just need to play their natural game that they were selected for in the first place. If the aussies fire sri lanka wont get within a bulls roar of them, they are playing their best cricket and only just breaking even and there is so much room for improvement in the aussie line up.

Posted by jimmyd1166 on (January 28, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

@ thirimanna... if I could be bothered i'd tear that utter tripe u wrote to shreds piece by piece. Seriously, u guys win a couple of short form games against experimental teams and u carry on like nobodies business... take a reality dose fella coz the only thing u proved is ur an right twat!

Beyond all that, a far superior performance all round from the "Lankies" against an Aussie side that was playing too safe - Voges was the worst/best example of this (with Marsh not far behind) as he was playing to do nothing more than hold his place in the side, something which given that he should NOT do. Try out a Pomerbasch, or even give Hodge a run while we're experimenting but if a player won't play "to the format" and just plays for a spot they should not be in the side as they are not playing a team game.

Posted by Simoc on (January 28, 2013, 3:37 GMT)

The players thought 140 would be a good score and they got 137 and that was with our best, Warner, in the whole time. Often one person going off is enough but it seems the Oz bowling wasn't up to the SL standard. We need more 4s and 6s today.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 28, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

Yes i agree with the comments on Maxwell, its time for him to start performing with either bat or bowl as he won't get a run forever. I know he is in the team for his potential but the 24-year-old's numbers are not amazing - in seven one-day internationals he does not have a wicket while he has scored just one half-century in 11 innings with the bat in international cricket. Time to put numbers on the board.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (January 28, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

Maxwell has a very good cricket brain. He should be made the captain of T20 team.

Posted by No_1_again on (January 28, 2013, 0:44 GMT)

IMO Marsh and Voges should take the some responsibilities for loosing the match. They battered like ODI match not like T20. It was horrible to see how Voges & Marsh batting compared to K.Perera. Finch at least tried something. Warner, Starc & Daugherty well done guys.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 27, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

"we've got to take an educated risk:" That statement is nonsense because with 7 wickets in hand ALL risks are automatically 'educated' because the 'education' is the very knowledge that you have 7 wickets in hand. Which is why Marsh's ridiculously ginger approach was an embarrassment.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

Australia lost that game as soon as Vogues came in to bat. This is a T20 why is Vogues taking singles only trying to give Warner the strike? Runs have to come at both ends. In addition he doesn't have the shape of a batsman that can hit the ball thru the offside.Needs to go lower down the order. As I have mentioned before Australian bowlers try to bowl fast but with no length, line and direction. Why would you want to bowl outside off stump in a T20? Don't they see the Sri Lankan bowlers keep the ball on the stumps and on al good length? Where is the coach? When are the going to learn! If they cannot correct their bowling quickly, Chris Gayle will have a field day next month. I cannot wait.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 27, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

I think it is difficult to win an international game of cricket with only two proven players of international class (Starc and Warner) and two other iffy cases (Cutting and Bailey). Rest are just a bunch of cricketers which any state side of Australia won't be all that proud to possess.

Posted by ygkd on (January 27, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

I'd say that Australia is already taking enough risks picking Maxwell over someone like Steve O'Keefe. And I'm a Victorian who thinks NSW players get too many national caps for free!

Posted by miles100 on (January 27, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

@partha19, Australia didn't play badly against the world's best swing bowler in ODI (Kulasekera). Why don't you Go to the Indian section and make comments about your Too much hyped Indian batsmen. You wait and see Kulasekrea will soon swing through the legs of all those nervous Indian batting line up who can only win in India.At present they cannot even win in India anymore.

Posted by NikhilGupta03 on (January 27, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

i think Maxwell should be officially termed the punching bag of Australia.Although he has not lived up to expectations, which by all measures are mighty, but we cannot ignore the talent that he does possess.In my opinion he can be transformed into a wonderful limited overs cricketer, much like Raina or Samuels. One cannot compare him to a consummate cricketer like Michael Hussey. Nobody can fill the boots of Michael Hussey, but certainly players like Maxwell,Marsh,Wade can take Australian cricket forward.

Posted by thirimanna on (January 27, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

@aj.. u think SL bowlers r ordinary and starc n doherty r better bowlers.. dude watch some cricket... not only when other teams playing in australia.. when they play in other countries tooo.. our bowlers performed in any country specially in limited overs games what has doherty done... how many matches has starc played.. ? how many world records do they have..? talking abt no chance chasing 150+ dude.. first of all dont imagine.. whos gonna score that much.. ? lucky kula dropped a catch when warner was 69 if not u were less than 130.. n for ordinary men like u KUla was former no 1 ranked bowler in odis.. no Doherty nor starc Lol n Thisara has the highest strike rate in ur own BBl.. may b u forgot abt thisar's towering 123m long six @ WACA 2011... whos gonna hit that far from ur team... may be two players can combine lmfao..

Posted by aj_123 on (January 27, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

@sanga 2014 Who cares abt strike rate . Check his economy . Perera n roach got belted in the matches the heat lost though roach bowled well in the final . @Amila . Haydos did that even when the keeper is upto stumps . I dont think anyone in Aus has the ability to play Dilscoop . Only Dilshan n Mccullum can do that . Mate Even Aus have gud players .Just their team selection suckz in the shorter formats . If Aus play 1. Warner 2. Pomersback 3.Watson(c) 4. Paine 5.Mitch Marsh 6.Burns 7.Hodge 8.Beer 9.Starc 10.Nannes 11.Tait I guess even the world 11 will find it difficult to beat them . Selection is the reason why Aus struggle in shorter Formats . The best example is Srilanka . Look at how they brought kushal perera , Chandimal , Thirumanae n now how they developing to future stars . The same is the case with Eng . The way they keep developing the likes of Root , Woakes , Butler it shows one day they would dominate the world oneday . I am a proud aussie fan btw

Posted by parvezkhan on (January 27, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

Mathews played one down or second down.for bright future

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

We are desperate if we are listening to Maxwell??? He is being sold to Australia as an All Rounder and now presented as a "LEADER".

Maxwell has played 7-ODI's with a batting average of 24, facing less balls than Mr Cricket has played games, and hasn't taken one solitary wicket

Before last night he played 7 x T20 with a batting average of 13. In a game where batsmen risk their wickets for runs he had taken only 2 wickets and one of them was against Ireland

Posted by Amila on (January 27, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

@aj_123 : You seems like a highly over optimistic Aussie fan. I wonder how many batters will walk down when the keeper come up to the stumps, saying it one thing, doing it is far difficult. Maybe if they are good enough they can do what dilshan did to Mitch Starc, scoop it over keepers heed. Aussies have a good test side, far better than sri lanka. but when it comes to ODI's and T20s, SL is a much better unit

Posted by partha19 on (January 27, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Aussie played very badly against an ordinary bowling attack. Too much hype created of Kulasekara'sboling. Malinga is one bowler who got respect from all the batsmen in the world.Aussie need to come out of their shell .. batting rotation should as newer batsman can prove their worth ..aaaron Finch is yet to prove his true class though i feel he is going to show his power ..

Posted by Sanga2014 on (January 27, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

@aj_123 Opz...... Thisara has the best strike rate in BBL.

Posted by Mitch069 on (January 27, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

Just read a article titled Maxwell bowls a storm, his first wicket was a wide ball that the batsman tried to square cut and got an edge, his second wicket was charged by the batsman and caught at long on and was almost a 6. I agree with Hyclass, how about Maxwell make a solid match winning contribution before providing advice to his team mates.Will be an absolute joke if he is picked for the Indian tour. SOK is much more deserving.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (January 27, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

The difference was that Ausies are still experimenting players whereas SL had a settled line up. Aussies should play at least 5 games with he same team before they start to change. Aussies need to invent different things. SL got Scoopers (Dilscoop), Slingers(Malinga), Carromers, Hammers (Thissara) and Bamboosers, ETC. Lalith - Sydney

Posted by aj_123 on (January 27, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Oh maxwell u better perform with the bat mate . Kulusekara , perera , mathews are not even 130+ . Why dont the batters walk down n smash them like haydos used to do . If the swing is negotiated by coming down the track kulesakara is just ordinary . I also remember haydos used to sweep him during the 2007 world cup n shewag just wacking all over the park . If Australia really want to win then they should score 40 off kulasekara,perera n mathews n get run a ball off malinga n mendis . If they do so 170 is on the cards . I dont think lankans stand a chance if its over 150 given starc n doherty in prime form .

Posted by acnipuna on (January 27, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

@ Jimmyrob83 then What a about Warner: He also couldnt dispatch the ball in last two overs to get his ton that is due master class bowling that's why the lions are in the top spot of the list

Posted by hycIass on (January 27, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Perhaps its better for Maxwell to focus on his own performance then advice other team mates what to do,, got 2 wickets yesterday but has yet to give a standout performance either with ball or bat. Warner can lecture his team mates as he was fanatastic yesterday. If i was a selector I would play Faulkner as the allrounder as he is very good with the ball and will shut out the runs as the fifth bowler.

Posted by Jimmyrob83 on (January 27, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

Sri Lanka were not that great with the ball. Marsh and Voges were scared to play a shot in anger. Very disappointing when your cheering for your player to get out like I was with Voges.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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