Maxwell turns his back on ‘Big Show’ business
Ashes contender Glenn Maxwell says “The Big Show” days are over and he wants to be known as “Mr Reliable” as he fights to retain his place in ‘s Test side.
After carving a reputation as one of the most explosive hitters in n cricket, Maxwell has worked hard in the past 12 months to change those perceptions.
The 29-year-old is among a big pack chasing the No.6 berth that was his when he hit what many thought would be a breakthrough maiden Test century in India this year.
A key part of that innings in Ranchi was his stout defence and patience, more so than his strokeplay. That has continued into this season, though it has not produced the big score that would make him indispensable for the Ashes opener.
Maxwell, who was dropped from Victoria’s Sheffield Shield team at the start of last season, credited Melbourne Stars coach and former New Zealand star Stephen Fleming for his change in attitude.
“I feel like I’m a lot more reliable as a batsman. I feel like there’s a little bit more faith in the change room that I can get through a longer period of time and it’s not just going to be ‘when’s he going to play a bad shot’, it’s going to be ‘hopefully he’s thinking about tomorrow and not how much he can take this bloke down’,” Maxwell said on Thursday.
“The last two innings I had big 100-run partnerships with other batters. That’s starting to change hopefully the way I’m perceived and the way my longer format’s seen as well.”
Maxwell said he derived plenty of confidence from his century as it showed he was on the right path.
“I play a lot of aggressive shots because I think I can hit a lot of balls for four because I’ve got faster hands,” Maxwell said.
“But it’s about feeling tighter for longer and really waiting for that ball in the right area. It probably took me a little longer to figure out than other players but I feel like with that change now I feel more confidence in defence and that’s starting to shine through. Hopefully others are seeing that as well.”
Maxwell is keen to distance himself from references to him as having “X-factor”, a term usually used to describe those with match-winning ability but also inconsistency.
“I think that’s been thrown around a fair bit over the last few years, I think they’ve made it pretty clear they want the top six batters in the country and I want to put my hand up to be one of them,” Maxwell said.
“I have ability to score quickly at stages but the way I’ve been playing recently I’ve been more concentrating on playing good cricket shots and making sure I am there for a longer period of time. Whatever the team’s required me to do I’ll do it.”