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IPL 2024: RCB's Glenn Maxwell to take 'mental and physical break'

Maxwell, who came into the IPL on the back of scorching international form scoring 552 runs in 17T20s at a blistering strike rate of 185.85, has had a disastrous IPL so far. In 6 games, the 35-year-old managed a mere 32 runs.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 05:18 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 05:18 IST

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Bengaluru: When Glenn Maxwell turned up for the customary post-match press conference following Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday night, most journalists were taken by surprise. The Australian, in the middle of a rut, had opted to ‘sit out’ of the manic game in which a record 549 aggregate runs were scored and one wondered if RCB dispatched him for the sake of sending personnel.

Smiling and laughing his way to the dais, Maxwell then dropped the bombshell that he’s taking a ‘mental and physical break’ to refresh himself and the RCB management has accepted it. “I went to (captain) Faf (du Plessis) and the coaches after the last game (against Mumbai Indians) and said I felt it was probably time we tried someone else. I have been in this situation in the past where you can keep playing and get yourself deeper into a hole.

“I think now is actually a good time for me to give myself a bit of a mental and physical break, get my body right. If I'm required to get in during the tournament, I can hopefully get back into a really solid mental and physical space where I can still have an impact. For me, personally, it was a pretty easy decision.

“We have had a pretty big deficiency straight after the Powerplay, which has been my area of strength over the last couple of seasons. I felt like I wasn't contributing in a positive way with the bat, and with the results and the position we find ourselves on the table, I think it's a good time to give someone else an opportunity to show their wares, and hopefully, someone can make that spot their own.”

Maxwell, who came into the IPL on the back of scorching international form scoring 552 runs in 17T20s at a blistering strike rate of 185.85, has had a disastrous IPL so far. In 6 games, the 35-year-old managed a mere 32 runs. Worse, he’s gotten out for ducks thrice with the highest score being 28 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

When asked how things went south for him, Maxwell, nicknamed the Big Show for his ability to churn out exceptional knocks, blamed it on the fickle nature of T20 format. “T20 cricket can be like that sometimes — it's a pretty fickle game. Even if you look at the first game, I ran one off the middle of the bat to the keeper. I picked up the length really well, saw a scoring opportunity, but opened the face a little bit too much. When you are going well, that goes wide of the gloves, you get a boundary, you are 4 off 1, and you are away for the tournament.

“I probably just haven't got away — it's as simple as that. In the first few games, I feel I made reasonably good decisions, but I was still finding ways to get out. It can happen in T20 cricket and when it snowballs like that, you can go searching and try too hard and forget the basics of the game.”

“I don't think I've had a better six months in cricket leading into this tournament. So it's frustrating when it ends up like this. But if I can get my body and my mind right, there's no reason I can't finish the tournament well if I do get another opportunity.”

On Monday after Sunrisers raked up a record IPL total by amassing 287/3, Royal Challengers fought hard before being stopped at 262/7. Batters from both sides had a feast at the expense of bowlers. When asked in hindsight if he wished he could have played one more game before taking a break, a smiling Maxwell said being in a right space is more important than being out in the middle of the ground.

“I realised it was probably a bad game to miss, it would have been nice to be out there batting. But as I said, I wanted to give myself not just the physical break but also the mental break to give myself the right to play professional cricket. I take a lot of pride in my performance, and I put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get my body right for every game. And it has been a pretty tough struggle, given my body is on the wrong side of 30. I think that physical and mental toll probably just wore me down a little bit.”

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Published 16 April 2024, 05:18 IST

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