'We didn't have choice other than attacking'

'We didn't have choice other than attacking'

In an evening of dazzling stroke-play, Glenn Maxwell, him of grace, threatened to put to shade Umar Akmal, full of savagery. While Umar’s brutal 54-ball 91 seemingly gave Pakistan a winning total of 191, Maxwell’s equally effective 33-ball 74 nearly pulled off a victory for Australia. With Maxwell’s dismissal, however, Australia caved in under pressure to suffer a 16-run loss.     

It’s not the first time that Maxwell has come up such a battering. In a sensational assault against India in the Bangalore ODI in November last, the Victorian scored an 18-ball half-century, the fastest by an Australian. On Sunday, he brought up his maiden T20 international fifty, again in 18 balls, which is the third quickest in the format.     

“We didn’t really have a choice when we were chasing 11 an over,” said the right-hander when asked about his offense. “I went out there and (Aaron Finch) Finchy said ‘alright, let’s just keep trying, let’s keep trying to turn it over.’ So, didn’t really have a choice when I got out there.”

The 25-year-old is relishing the responsibility of batting at number four. “I think it does (make you a responsible) when you are out there in the first over and there’s still only two men outside the circle,” he pointed out. “It’s a lot easier to score. The wicket was skidding a little bit at the time I went out there and by the end, it was actually starting to turn a bit. It was nice to watch the wicket reversal; it made it easy for me because I had been out there for a while. For the guys that came in, it was probably a little bit more difficult because the ball was starting to spin a little bit more,” he explained.

Walking in at the start of second over with a mountain to climb, Maxwell betrayed few nerves. “I do enjoy that (pressure),” he noted. “My first series against Pakistan (in August 2012) probably helped me tonight. Knowing that I can face their spinners, I was confident I could score against them. Having Finchy at the other end was quite calming as well, someone who I live with and I spend a lot of time with,” he remarked.

Not many have found great success against Saeed Ajmal but the off-spinner couldn’t stop the marauding Maxwell. “Not a lot, really,” he said if the Abu Dhabi series helped him read Ajmal better. “I watch other games on TV and watch how other people play him. But it’s not like I go to bed at night and think about it non-stop. I was actually at the non-striker’s end at the start there, picked up a few cues and talking to Finchy who was picking him up as well. That we can take him on if we meet them in the finals again, we will have that advantage,” he reasoned.

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