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New Delhi: Glenn Maxwell, again the holder of the record for fastest one-day century for Australia, said he felt so ill and unslept before his astonishing 40-ball 100 against the Netherlands at Arun Jaitley stadium on Wednesday that he had not wanted to bat.
He also said that he was in control throughout what looked like a hitting frenzy and fully conscious that he was on track to reclaim the record.
“I’m very aware of balls faced,” he said. “I love the fastest 50, fastest 100 records. I think they’re pretty cool records. Sometimes to the detriment of myself, I’ve always probably pushed the boundaries a bit too much.”
In Australia’s previous match against Pakistan in Bangalore, Maxwell came to the crease after a big opening partnership and slogged a catch first ball. Since, his wife Vini Raman and infant son Logan have joined him and a bug forced him to lie low.
“I was sitting in the changing room and I didn’t really want to bat, which is a bit different than last game where I was way too eager to get out there,” he said. “We talked about over-arousal levels and I probably reached double maximum if you couldn’t tell.
“I was a little bit more chilled when I got out there. I didn’t have many high hopes. I’ve been pretty cooked the last couple of days. Coincided with the sleepless night last night with the family over.
Glenn Maxwell made the fastest hundred in World Cup history from just 40 balls.Credit: AP
Maxwell said the fall of David Warner and Cameron Green soon after he arrived at the crease had tempered his approach, believe it or not.
“It’s a bit weird that I had to calm myself down for the first 20 odd balls and rebuild,” he said. “I felt like I was super-selective. Even with the boundaries I was hitting, until I got to about 50 or 60, I was literally hitting them flat through the gap or picking my spots pretty clearly where I wanted to go. It was only the back end where I tried to just pump everything.
“I think I get to a stage I suppose when I’m batting at the back end and I’ve got a read on the game I can sort of don’t try too much out of the ordinary. I don’t really lap, I didn’t really go inside out over cover, I didn’t sort of give my stumps away too much.
“Yeah, I reversed a couple of times but that’s only because I had a read on what they were trying to do. I didn’t really try and take a fielder on. I knew if I could play one or two, I’d get a different type of ball. Then I could cash in on that. And I just felt really clear at the back end. I was able to stand quite still. And I felt I hit the ball where it needed to be hit.”
Australia’s Glenn Maxwell celebrates his century.Credit: AP
Altogether, Maxwell hit nine fours and eight sixes. One was especially memorable, to himself as well as spectators.
“I thought I was out: the reverse of (Logan) Van Beek that went for six over backward point,” he said. “I thought it was going to be slower into the wicket or back of the length and he bowled it full at I think middle and off. And luckily enough my hand speed got me out of trouble.
“I feel like tonight I actually gave myself a chance to be able to play those shots at the back end. I was in the stage of rebuilding, trying to get through and trying to bat as long as I possibly could. I just haven’t probably had the opportunity. Last game, I had the opportunity and threw it away.”
Maxwell’s onslaught culminated in the 49th over when he smashed 28 from Bas de Leede’s medium pacers, including three successive sixes, the last delivering him to his century.
Maxwell with captain Pat Cummins at the crease.Credit: Getty Images
“I think if you can put pressure on a certain bowler and get a hold of them a couple of times in a row, you can produce mistakes,” he said.“I felt that was what I did in the 49th over. I was able to put pressure on his good balls to get bad balls, where I could actually hit for sixes.”
It’s remarkable to think that it is less than a year since Maxwell badly broke his leg in a birthday party accident, imperilling his career. He said he was frustrated when a setback during a T20 series in South Africa recently forced him to go home.
“You do start to get some dark thoughts: is this going to affect me for the whole World Cup?” he said. “Am I going to be struggling to get through every game? Am I going to be letting the team down by having to field in cold zones on the field where I’m not getting much ball?
“That wouldn’t have sat well with me. The fact that I don’t have to be hidden in the field is quite nice.”
To complete his night’s work, Maxwell made a direct hit run-out from mid-on.
The only thing that troubled him on the night was a flashing light show during a drinks break, in which Maxwell held his hands over his face. He said it was reminiscent of a night in Perth once during the Big Bash.
“It gave me shocking headaches and it takes me a while for my eyes to readjust,” he said. “I think it’s the dumbest idea for cricketers when you’ve got this thing coming at you quickly and your eyes take so long to adjust.
“We’d just lost a wicket and the Perth stadium lights went nuts and I was at the other end and it took me ages to get my eyes to go again and I had a headache – so I (now) just try and cover up as much as I possibly can and ignore it.
“But it’s a horrible, horrible idea. Great for the fans, horrible for the players.”
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