Photo: Twitter/@cricketcomau

It was a brazen show of brute force and aggressive cricket at the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester on Friday, September 11, orchestrated by none other than Australia’s Glenn Maxwell. Playing an ODI game for the first time since the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi final, the all-rounder looked as fresh as ever, top scoring for his team against England on the day. 

Maxwell scored a quickfire 77 off just 59 balls, as he took Australia out of a deep hole to get the team total close to 300. His innings was studded with four fours and four sixes, as the 31-year-old rolled back the years to finish with a strong score in his comeback ODI after nearly a year long sabbatical from the cricket field. 

Walking in to bat with the score reading 123/5, Maxwell was tasked with resurrecting the Australian innings alongside Mitchell Marsh. Prior to the all-rounder’s arrival at the wicket, England’s spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali were dominating proceedings. Their bowling however was nullified by Maxwell, who went on the counter charge from the beginning. 

Maxwell got the first six of the Australian innings of the night, hoisting Rashid over the mid-wicket boundary in the 30th over. He followed that up with a reverse sweep and a cover drive on the off side against Ali. 

Within no time, Maxwell got to his fifty off just 42 deliveries, as the Australian team score went past 200. Post his fifty, the explosive batsman began to up the ante, smoking Jofra Archer for a boundary down the ground. He followed that up with back-to-back sixes on the leg side, getting Australia into a strong position in the match. 

Maxwell was ultimately dismissed by Archer, as he dragged a shortish delivery back onto his stumps. Nevertheless, the damage had been done as his quickfire knock aided the Australians to finish with a target close to 300. Maxwell added 126 runs along with Marsh for the sixth wicket partnership, neutralizing the early inroads achieved by the English pacers. 

The Australian all-rounder performed admirably in the recently concluded T20I series as well against the same opposition, picking up two wickets while maintaining an economy rate of six an over. His opportunities with the bat were limited in the T20 Internationals, but he has more than made up for it now with a powerful performance in the first ODI.

Maxwell’s upswing in form bodes well for the Dream11 Indian Premier League, where he will represent Kings XI Punjab this season.