ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019 T20I batting winner - maximum Glenn

The T20I batting winner took on Jasprit Bumrah and came out on top

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah
Glenn Maxwell drills one down the ground, India v Australia, 2nd T20I, Bengaluru, February 27, 2019

Glenn Maxwell's unbeaten hundred gave Australia their first bilateral T20I series win over India  •  Getty Images

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For the second year in a row, Maxwell takes home the award for the best T20I batting performance, following up on his win for an unbeaten 103 against England in 2018.
In Bengaluru, Maxwell unleashed an array of strokes, thumping nine sixes and seven fours to hand Australia their first bilateral T20I series win against India, and to end India's run of series wins in the format at home.
Three days before, in Visakhapatnam, he had made a match-winning half-century but said he had been disappointed for falling towards the end of the chase. In the second and final game of the series, he came in at 22 for 2 and stayed till the end to get his third T20I century.
He began in streaky fashion, top-edging Jasprit Bumrah for six, but as he got into his innings, he grew more confident. He paddled Vijay Shankar's short balls over square leg, whipped a Yuzvendra Chahal half-tracker over midwicket, and crunched Krunal Pandya's full balls through extra cover.
With five overs to go, Australia still needed more than 12 per over to chase down 191 and that's when Maxwell brought out his bag of tricks, with consecutive sixes off Chahal and two fours off Bumrah.
In the 18th over, with victory in sight, Maxwell worked a yorker to the leg side to get to his hundred. Even India captain Virat Kohli, who had made a 38-ball 72 in the match, could not help but applaud at the dominance of his opponent.

Key moment

The 17th over, from Bumrah, was crucial. Australia still needed 44 to win, but Maxwell drove a length ball from Bumrah through the covers with a shot so elegant that he held the pose for a while, high elbow and all. Three balls later, he picked Bumrah's slower ball, going deep in his crease to muscle it to square leg for another boundary. Dismantling Bumrah at the death took the wind out of the India attack.

The numbers

1 Maxwell is the only Australia batsman to score three T20I centuries. Aaron Finch, with two, is the only other to have more than one.
2 Maxwell is one of only two batsmen to have a T20I strike rate of more than 160 (min 250 balls).

What they said

"I was always trying to attack Bumrah. His over was going to be key. His job was to push the required run rate high, and he's done me a few times before for Mumbai Indians, but I've sort of changed my approach to him. Wait for the ball and capitalise on his pace."
- Glenn Maxwell on countering the Bumrah threat

The closest contenders

Hazratullah Zazai, 162 not out v Ireland, second T20I, Dehradun
Just four days before Maxwell's blitz in Bengaluru, Zazai dismantled Ireland's bowlers in a record-breaking innings - his 162, the second-highest T20I score of all time, contained a record 16 sixes and helped Afghanistan set a world-record total of 278.
Virat Kohli, 94 v West Indies, first T20I, Hyderabad
A T20I century may continue to elude Kohli, but this 94 will be remembered for the anger with which he batted. He got into arguments with the umpires and West Indies' bowlers and remonstrated with himself, but he stayed not out to guide India to a six-wicket win.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo