Glenn Maxwell is arguably the best all-rounder in the BBL, ranking in the top three with bat and ball. Picture: AAP.
Glenn Maxwell is arguably the best all-rounder in the BBL, ranking in the top three with bat and ball. Picture: AAP.

How Maxwell transformed into the BBL’s best all-rounder

Glenn Maxwell has transformed himself into Australia's premier all-rounder with the Melbourne Stars captain ranking in the Big Bash's top three as both a powerplay bowler and death batsman.

Maxwell's unforeseen role change this summer - he has bowled key overs upfront and drifted down the batting order - could breathe fresh life into his fallen ODI career when Australia tours South Africa next month.

But the matchwinner is certain to earn selection for the T20 component of that white-ball series after a Big Bash campaign where he has also emerged as the standout skipper.

 

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Maxwell's powerplay economy rate of 5.7 is bettered only by Peter Siddle and Kane Richardson while his strike-rate in the death overs of 205.3 has every player except Mitchell Marsh and Ben Cutting covered.

Stars identified that Maxwell does his best work when the field is up and the captain has backed himself to bowl key overs with the new ball, dismissing game-changers D'Arcy Short, David Miller, Usman Khawaja and Alex Hales.

A modest Maxwell, 31, yesterday said that he was bowling himself early to keep options up his sleeve.

"It's been nice that I've been able to get a couple of wickets in the powerplay and get us off to a nice start, but it doesn't always happen," Maxwell said.

"I try and attack the stumps as much as I can and keep it nice and simple."

Maxwell's consistency has improved as he pounds the same part of the pitch and looks to tighten up batsmen so they can't free their arms.

The gun fielder batted at No.3 in his last T20 knock for Australia, but is happy coming in as late as No.5 for the Stars as a finisher.

Maxwell’s powerplay economy rate of 5.7 is bettered only by Peter Siddle and Kane Richardson. Picture: Getty Images.
Maxwell’s powerplay economy rate of 5.7 is bettered only by Peter Siddle and Kane Richardson. Picture: Getty Images.

"I try to put myself in when I think I can win us the game," he said.

"I generally think if I'm there at the end we should be able to be on the winning side of it."

It means the man once known as 'The Big Show' is more 'Bookend Glenn' as he spins up a storm at the start and then looks to smash the Stars to victory at the end.

Sydney Sixer Josh Hazlewood boasts 2-1 from four balls against Maxwell and that match-up shapes as pivotal to tonight's Qualifying Final at the MCG.

"Hopefully I can change that (record)," Maxwell said.

"Someone with a bit of extra bounce on a wicket like this will be probably a bit nicer to face, rather than someone skidding it on."

Maxwell said the Stars would target Steve Smith with spin and force the world's best batsman to hit to the MCG's deep square boundaries.

"A few good dot balls on him and who knows," he said.

A crowd of just 20,000 is expected tonight as fans brace for a heatwave knowing Melbourne Stars will play another home final next week regardless of the result.

 

Maxwell his strike-rate in the death overs of 205.3 has every player except Mitchell Marsh and Ben Cutting covered. Picture: Getty Images.
Maxwell his strike-rate in the death overs of 205.3 has every player except Mitchell Marsh and Ben Cutting covered. Picture: Getty Images.

 

A win will see them host next Saturday's Grand Final while a loss will see them host a preliminary final on Thursday.

Stars lost their final three home games but Maxwell said they were primed for tonight.

"It's pretty rare to lock away top spot with three games to go in the season," he said.

"We were afforded the luxury of being able to rest a few players that had certain niggles.

"It's worked out perfectly for us to be able to play fresh guys at this stage of the tournament is very valuable."

 

Best Power-Play economy rate (Overs 1-6)*

Peter Siddle (Strikers) 5

Kane Richardson (Renegades) 5.1

GLENN MAXWELL (Stars) 5.7

Jhye Richardson (Scorchers) 5.9

Mujeeb (Heat) 6.1

*Min 10 overs


Best Death Overs strike-rate (Overs 16-20)*

Mitch Marsh (Scorchers) 258.5

Ben Cutting (Heat) 206.1

GLENN MAXWELL (Stars) 205.3

Jhye Richardson (Scorchers) 200

Mohammad Nabi (Renegades) 196.1

*Min five innings

 

Source CRICVIZ


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