In a riveting match against an Asian team in Mumbai, Maxwell delivered one of the most memorable ODI innings in cricket history. He became the first Australian to score a double-century in men’s 50-over cricket, smashing an unbeaten 201* off just 128 balls. This extraordinary performance helped the five-time World Cup champions secure a thrilling victory and advance to the tournament’s knockout stages.
Maxwell’s Battle Against Physical Challenges
However, this record-breaking feat almost didn’t happen. Maxwell disclosed after the match that he was on the verge of retiring mid-innings due to severe cramps in his calf, shin, hamstring, and toes, compounded by a back spasm.
“We considered taking a break to work on my back and loosen up my legs,” Maxwell shared with reporters after Australia’s dramatic recovery from 91/7 to a three-wicket victory.
Strategic Planning Amidst Physical Struggles
Despite his physical discomfort, Maxwell and the team’s physio, Nick Jones, devised a strategy to keep him on the field. They decided to keep him at one end as long as possible, aiming for easy singles and boundaries. This tactical approach, combined with Maxwell’s determination, helped them maintain a run and ball rate.
Maxwell’s ‘Stand and Deliver’ Approach
Maxwell’s lack of mobility didn’t hinder his performance. He stuck to his signature ‘stand and deliver’ approach, dealing mainly in boundaries. He and captain Pat Cummins (12*) formed a 202-run partnership that clinched the match in a spectacular fashion.
Cummins’ Crucial Contribution
Maxwell acknowledged Cummins’ crucial role in their partnership. Cummins’ calm demeanor and strategic play helped them navigate the challenging equation required for victory.
Maxwell’s Strategy Against Rashid Khan
Maxwell also shared his strategy against world-class bowler Rashid Khan. He aimed to keep Khan out of the game as much as possible, focusing on hitting boundaries off other bowlers. This approach proved successful, keeping Khan from taking a shot at the rest of the tail.
Maxwell’s Eventful Journey
The remarkable innings marks a high point in an eventful period for Maxwell, who recently became a father and missed Australia’s World Cup match against England due to a golfing incident. Despite these challenges, Maxwell expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to Australia’s successful World Cup campaign.
“After the first two games, most people had written us off. But we managed to string together six wins at the right time, even without our best stuff tonight against a spirited opposition. Making it to the semis is fantastic,” Maxwell concluded.