Glenn Maxwell wants to be a "positive influence" on the Royal Challengers Bangalore, his new IPL team, and isn't stressed about the burden of expectations that comes with his price tag of INR 14.25 crore (approx AUD 2,500,000).
"I probably don't set targets. I think for myself, I just want to have a positive influence on the group, whether it be my performance, or attitude or the way I even help with the fielding practice - if I see improvement in the whole squad, the whole team as a collective, over the tournament," Maxwell said in an interview on the Royal Challengers' YouTube channel. "Obviously, we want to win the tournament, but I want to make sure that everything I do during this time has a positive influence on the group.
"So, I'm not overly concerned. I think my performances will take care of themselves. I want to have a positive influence on everything I do, as far as attitude, helping out around the team, leadership-wise helping out Virat [Kohli] when he needs it, and off the field, at training, and making sure the young guys are still developing as well."
The Royals Challengers, who are yet to win an IPL title, are Maxwell's fourth franchise in eight editions, after he was released by the Kings XI Punjab (now the Punjab Kings) following a poor 2020 tournament where he scored just 108 runs in 11 innings and did not hit a six.
With 82 IPL matches under his belt, Maxwell is expected to marshal the second half of the Royal Challengers' innings and deliver the goods with his part-time offspin. He hoped he was able to help with team building, too, especially with potential debutants like New Zealand allrounder Kyle Jamieson.
"There's so much more to the game," Maxwell said. "And with my experience - I think it's my 22nd trip to India - you've got to be able to sort of help out the rest of the group. A guy like Kyle Jamieson - this is his first trip to India - so we're on different ends of the spectrum a little bit there. So for me to sort of pass on my previous experiences, and help him sort of fit in here trying different foods, making sure that I'm taking care of him that way as well. And it's up to the experienced guys in the squad to help."
Maxwell's thoughts came a day after Gautam Gambhir, who briefly captained him at the Delhi Daredevils [now the Delhi Capitals] in 2018, told ESPNcricinfo that the Australian's inconsistency was the reason he has played for so many franchises.
Daniel Vettori, the former New Zealand captain who played for - and coached - the Royal Challengers, however, felt that the attention Kohli and de Villiers tend to draw would allow Maxwell to maintain a low profile in the side, which may work to Maxwell's advantage.
"The emphasis normally is on AB and Kohli, and Maxwell in a way can fly under the radar," Vettori told ESPNcricinfo. "Hopefully that lack of pressure will allow him to have an IPL that everyone expects him to most years."