IPL 2014 April 25, 2014

The Maxwell phenomenon

Glenn Maxwell has been outstanding in the T20 format, combining perfectly the art of low dot-ball and high boundary percentage
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Since October last year, Glenn Maxwell has scored 697 Twenty20 runs in 20 innings at a strike rate of 200 © BCCI

In the first ten matches of IPL 2014, there's little doubt that the one player who has created the biggest buzz has been Glenn Maxwell. In three innings he has amassed 279 runs off 131 balls, twice scoring 95 off 43 balls in the space of five days - as if it was the most normal thing to do - and once hitting 89 off 45 in between. His frenetic hitting has brought him almost twice as many runs as any other batsman in the first week - the next-highest after ten games is Dwayne Smith with 145. It's also ensured that Kings XI Punjab - the franchise he is playing for this season - have struck 30 sixes in three matches, with 17 of them coming off Maxwell's bat; the only other team with more sixes than Maxwell is Chennai Super Kings, with 18.

He has had some luck but he has ridden it well, leaving the bowlers wondering how to take his wicket, and leaving Mumbai Indians wondering why they let him go after having him for a season in 2013 - Maxwell only played three IPL games for them last year. In the current season, Mumbai are languishing on all fronts, including the sixes count - they are at the bottom with a grand total of two from two games.

Maxwell's three scores this season are, incidentally, his three highest scores in T20 matches: coming into this year's IPL, Maxwell had played 62 innings in T20 cricket, and his highest had been 82, for Melbourne Stars against Sydney Sixers in a Big Bash game in 2012. In his five previous innings in the IPL - two for Delhi Daredevils in 2012 and three last year for Mumbai - he had scored 42 runs at an average of 14 and a strike rate of 110.52. Those are unrecognisable from the kind of stats he has notched up so far this year.

In fact, since the start of the 2013-14 season, Maxwell has taken his T20 game up a notch. In his last 20 innings, he has scored five fifties, averaged 38.72, and scored at a strike rate of 200.86. Before this IPL blitz, he had two other high-impact innings during this period: in the Big Bash against Melbourne Renegades, he scored a 28-ball 58 with six sixes, while in the World T20 against Pakistan a month ago, he blasted 74 off 33, though Australia still contrived to lose that one. In his first 45 T20 innings, by contrast, he scored 777 runs - just 80 more than he has scored in his last 20 - at an average of 20 and a strike rate of 140.

In his T20 career so far, Maxwell has already played in the leagues in Australia, England and India, apart from playing 21 matches for Australia. He's clearly a star in this format, but his first-class record - four centuries and 11 fifties in 46 innings - suggests he'll be looking to add to his current tally of two Test matches.

Glenn Maxwell in T20 cricket
  Innings Runs Average Strike rate 50s
T20Is 17 303 20.20 165.57 1
Big Bash 20 427 23.72 155.83 2
IPL + CLT20 13 423 38.45 183.91 3
Twenty20 Cup (England) 15 321 26.75 148.61 2
Career 65 1474 26.32 163.23 8
Maxwell in T20, before and since the 2013-14 season
Period Innings Runs Average Strike rate 50s
Till Sep 2013 45 777 20.44 139.74 3
Since Oct 2013 20 697 38.72 200.86 5
Glenn Maxwell in first-class and List A matches
  Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
First-class 46 1765 41.04 74.72 4/ 11
List A 44 1235 36.32 129.18 1/ 10
ODIs 23 621 34.50 124.20 0/ 6

One of the key tenets of T20 batting is to keep dot balls at a minimum, and that's something Maxwell has always managed superbly, and even more so over the last seven months. Overall in his T20 career, Maxwell's dot-ball percentage is about 35, and in the last seven months it's dropped even further, to 30. That means he is able to score off most deliveries he faces, which eases the pressure on the non-striker as well.

Along with a low dot-ball percentage, Maxwell's also scored a high percentage of his runs in boundaries - about 69% in his T20 career, and almost 77% in the last seven months. A combination of low dot-ball percentage and high boundary percentage is ideal in Twenty20 cricket, and that's something Maxwell has excelled in throughout his career, and even more so recently.

Maxwell v pace and spin in T20 cricket
  Runs Dismissals Average Strike rate Dot % Boundary %
Pace 819 31 26.41 160.5 37.06 70.33
Spin 655 24 27.29 167.5 32.74 66.87
Total 1474 56* 26.32 163.2 35.18 68.79
Maxwell v pace and spin in T20 cricket since Oct 2013
  Runs Dismissals Average Strike rate Dot % Boundary %
Pace 383 9 42.55 205.8 31.18 78.85
Spin 314 8 39.25 195.0 28.57 73.89
Total 697 18* 38.72 200.86 29.97 76.61

In the last seven months, no batsman has scored as many T20 runs as Maxwell, and none of the others in the top eight have a strike rate anywhere close to his: while Maxwell touches 200, the next-best among the top eight run-scorers is his Kings XI mate David Miller, who strikes at 150.

Most of the batsmen in the table below are specialists in the limited-overs format, but at No. 4 sits Hashim Amla, who hasn't done badly in the five-day format either. Maxwell's currently not one of the front runners for a place in the Australian Test team, but his recent first-class form has been outstanding as well: his four innings in 2014 read as follows - 94, 127, 119 and 4. His 127 came in the second innings for Victoria against New South Wales, in a team total of 186 after Victoria had been reduced to 9 for 6. Given his first-class record - especially his recent exploits - he could well get an opportunity to build on the two Tests he played in India last year. Till then, he can continue to make waves in the 20-over format.

Top run-getters in T20 cricket since October 2013
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100/ 50s
Glenn Maxwell 20 697 38.72 200.86 0/ 5
Quinton de Kock 20 672 37.33 128.24 0/ 3
Aaron Finch 18 666 39.17 143.22 0/ 7
Hashim Amla 19 648 36.00 133.88 0/ 4
Anamul Haque 19 646 35.88 134.58 1/ 2
David Miller 24 629 41.93 150.47 0/ 6
JP Duminy 20 621 56.45 131.84 0/ 5
Kusal Perera 14 509 39.15 145.01 0/ 6

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mrmonty on April 30, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    Australia are favs to win the next WC

  • nothingnew on April 28, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    One thing i saw from Maxwell is timing . His timing is crispy . Other fact that i love about this guy is He hit the bowl really hard . he is not big mussle guy . but timing and power of the shot are superb. I wish him to play big innings through out the IPL . we would fascinating to watch his brilliants

  • on April 26, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    This guy has (further) trampled MI with the guilt of letting him go after only playing three matches for them. He has shown his worth, and how! He's not just a good batman, but one who maintains his composure through and through. Amazing cricket being played by Maxwell so far. Keep it up, mate!

  • flickspin on April 26, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    @somdeep

    the best batsmen ive ever seen are

    1 adam gilchrist,2 brian lara, 3 matt hayden, 4 ricky ponting, 5 sachin tendulkar, 6 virenda sewag

    i loved the way sewag batted but he was more conventional than pietersen, warner & maxwell

    kevin pietersen was the first to hit reverse sweeps for 6's and switch hits for 6, paddle shots and so on,

    i carnt remember sewag reverse sweeping 6's or switch hitting 6's

    i believe in the future most batsmen will bat will play with creativity that pietersen, warner and maxwell play with.

  • on April 26, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    After watching all these Marvel and DC super characters was thinking thats the end but not really there is T20 and Glen Maxwell a new Super Hero has been born

  • on April 25, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Whaaatey player! Mindblasting fantastic Beerwala from Ozzieland!

  • on April 25, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    @FlickSpin -It is a known fact that David Warner was Sehwag's protege who has changed the approach to batting since 2001.. so if you say KP was the first of his kind and not Sehwag it would be a quite unfair.

  • ishan_fication on April 25, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    @ Paul Robson ... how can you even think of comparing him with paul vahalty . Maxwell is a regular ODI and T20 member of australian team . And one of the most important too . paul vahalty ws one IPL wonder . Maxwell had done it in ODI's , In T20's ( international ) then Big bash and now he's doing it in IPL ... and for your info He's a star too . Million Dollar baby they call him

  • BradmanBestEver on April 25, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    Aaaah the richness of talent we have waiting in the wings. What a nice position we are settling ourselves back into.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 25, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    he played very well against Pak in UAE in 2010 and he really played well against best spinners in the world.

  • mrmonty on April 30, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    Australia are favs to win the next WC

  • nothingnew on April 28, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    One thing i saw from Maxwell is timing . His timing is crispy . Other fact that i love about this guy is He hit the bowl really hard . he is not big mussle guy . but timing and power of the shot are superb. I wish him to play big innings through out the IPL . we would fascinating to watch his brilliants

  • on April 26, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    This guy has (further) trampled MI with the guilt of letting him go after only playing three matches for them. He has shown his worth, and how! He's not just a good batman, but one who maintains his composure through and through. Amazing cricket being played by Maxwell so far. Keep it up, mate!

  • flickspin on April 26, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    @somdeep

    the best batsmen ive ever seen are

    1 adam gilchrist,2 brian lara, 3 matt hayden, 4 ricky ponting, 5 sachin tendulkar, 6 virenda sewag

    i loved the way sewag batted but he was more conventional than pietersen, warner & maxwell

    kevin pietersen was the first to hit reverse sweeps for 6's and switch hits for 6, paddle shots and so on,

    i carnt remember sewag reverse sweeping 6's or switch hitting 6's

    i believe in the future most batsmen will bat will play with creativity that pietersen, warner and maxwell play with.

  • on April 26, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    After watching all these Marvel and DC super characters was thinking thats the end but not really there is T20 and Glen Maxwell a new Super Hero has been born

  • on April 25, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Whaaatey player! Mindblasting fantastic Beerwala from Ozzieland!

  • on April 25, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    @FlickSpin -It is a known fact that David Warner was Sehwag's protege who has changed the approach to batting since 2001.. so if you say KP was the first of his kind and not Sehwag it would be a quite unfair.

  • ishan_fication on April 25, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    @ Paul Robson ... how can you even think of comparing him with paul vahalty . Maxwell is a regular ODI and T20 member of australian team . And one of the most important too . paul vahalty ws one IPL wonder . Maxwell had done it in ODI's , In T20's ( international ) then Big bash and now he's doing it in IPL ... and for your info He's a star too . Million Dollar baby they call him

  • BradmanBestEver on April 25, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    Aaaah the richness of talent we have waiting in the wings. What a nice position we are settling ourselves back into.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 25, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    he played very well against Pak in UAE in 2010 and he really played well against best spinners in the world.

  • RednWhiteArmy on April 25, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Without a doubt one of the finest baseballers in australia

  • on April 25, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    He is the perfect replacement for Symonds .Symonds was a much better bowler though .He can break into the test side too .Had struggled last year with the bat but he has been improving .

  • Princepurple1979 on April 25, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    The entire MI management including Sachin would be hanging their heads in shame by not letting this guy play enough for the year they had him. And so would be the wise guys in auction table when they decided not to retain him. What an entertainer he is. You cant take your eyes off the TV screen when hes batting. Hope to see more his fireworks!

  • angelx on April 25, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Given the resounding success of Maxwell i can safely assume that this guy is going to be a vital cog in Australian team for their 2015 ODI world cup exploits. And the exciting thing about him is that he play proper cricketing shots and yet make such an impact on the game. Watching his 74 off 33 against Pakistan my guts were kicking me inside and telling me this guy has some serious potential in him. And sooner or later we will be seeing him in whites for Aussies, if Warner can make it why cant the Big show..

  • on April 25, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    What he is is lucky. He's having a period where he can do no wrong. Good fielder drops catch. Caught off a no ball, sends one straight up in the air, no-one gets it.

    It will counterbalance with bad times ; anyone remember Paul Valthaty ?

    He's not a bad cricketer at all, but he's not a star either.

  • Romanticstud on April 25, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Looking at the last table you would think that with four batsmen in the list South Africa would be top of the T20 format as well as in tests ... unfortunately the batsmen have been taking turns to fire ... or misfire ...

  • flickspin on April 25, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    i think maxwell and warner are the most creative batsmen ive ever seen

    six's in every part of the oval, reverse sweeps, paddle shots, switch hits and deft touches

    i think these 2 batsmen are a glimpse into batting in the future, where all batsmen will play with this creativity.

    maxwell and warners skill make it hard for fielding captains to set fields in 50/50 and 20/20 cricket

    kevin pietersen is also a very creative batsmen and was probably the first player to play with this creative style

    i think maxwell needs to prove himself in 4 day cricket, not every ball has to go for 6 he can score 100 off 100 balls with out too much risk yet still batting with his creative style, i think the confidence he has gained from knowing he can score 90's off 45 in the worlds best 20/20 comp will help.

    both maxwell and warner are electric in the field.

    maxwell is a handy off spinner but i think he can improve, maybe he can work with lyon

    its a shame we didnt do well in the 20/20 world cup

  • enlightenedone on April 25, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    Mukesh Ambani must be reading this article right now and kicking himself for letting maxwell go.

  • xtrafalgarx on April 25, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    Maxwell has the potential to be the all-rounder that Symonds could've been in test cricket. Hopefully the 'Big Show' moves on to test cricket and has a long career.

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  • xtrafalgarx on April 25, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    Maxwell has the potential to be the all-rounder that Symonds could've been in test cricket. Hopefully the 'Big Show' moves on to test cricket and has a long career.

  • enlightenedone on April 25, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    Mukesh Ambani must be reading this article right now and kicking himself for letting maxwell go.

  • flickspin on April 25, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    i think maxwell and warner are the most creative batsmen ive ever seen

    six's in every part of the oval, reverse sweeps, paddle shots, switch hits and deft touches

    i think these 2 batsmen are a glimpse into batting in the future, where all batsmen will play with this creativity.

    maxwell and warners skill make it hard for fielding captains to set fields in 50/50 and 20/20 cricket

    kevin pietersen is also a very creative batsmen and was probably the first player to play with this creative style

    i think maxwell needs to prove himself in 4 day cricket, not every ball has to go for 6 he can score 100 off 100 balls with out too much risk yet still batting with his creative style, i think the confidence he has gained from knowing he can score 90's off 45 in the worlds best 20/20 comp will help.

    both maxwell and warner are electric in the field.

    maxwell is a handy off spinner but i think he can improve, maybe he can work with lyon

    its a shame we didnt do well in the 20/20 world cup

  • Romanticstud on April 25, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Looking at the last table you would think that with four batsmen in the list South Africa would be top of the T20 format as well as in tests ... unfortunately the batsmen have been taking turns to fire ... or misfire ...

  • on April 25, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    What he is is lucky. He's having a period where he can do no wrong. Good fielder drops catch. Caught off a no ball, sends one straight up in the air, no-one gets it.

    It will counterbalance with bad times ; anyone remember Paul Valthaty ?

    He's not a bad cricketer at all, but he's not a star either.

  • angelx on April 25, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Given the resounding success of Maxwell i can safely assume that this guy is going to be a vital cog in Australian team for their 2015 ODI world cup exploits. And the exciting thing about him is that he play proper cricketing shots and yet make such an impact on the game. Watching his 74 off 33 against Pakistan my guts were kicking me inside and telling me this guy has some serious potential in him. And sooner or later we will be seeing him in whites for Aussies, if Warner can make it why cant the Big show..

  • Princepurple1979 on April 25, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    The entire MI management including Sachin would be hanging their heads in shame by not letting this guy play enough for the year they had him. And so would be the wise guys in auction table when they decided not to retain him. What an entertainer he is. You cant take your eyes off the TV screen when hes batting. Hope to see more his fireworks!

  • on April 25, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    He is the perfect replacement for Symonds .Symonds was a much better bowler though .He can break into the test side too .Had struggled last year with the bat but he has been improving .

  • RednWhiteArmy on April 25, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Without a doubt one of the finest baseballers in australia

  • Nadeem1976 on April 25, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    he played very well against Pak in UAE in 2010 and he really played well against best spinners in the world.