Glenn Maxwell: Can Anyone Stop The Big Show Winning IPL 2014 Orange Cap?

Freddie WildeContributor IApril 22, 2014

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 30:  Glenn Maxwell of Australia is out bowled as MS Dhoni of India looks on during the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 match between India v Australia at Sher-e-Bangla Mirpur Stadium on March 30, 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Glenn Maxwell has scored 279 runs in this season's Indian Premier League having faced just 139 balls. He has scored 50 in each of his three innings and has twice fallen five runs short of a century. 

However, he has had more than his fair share of luck. 

Maxwell was dropped twice today, and had all of the catches he has given this season been caught he would've scored just (and I say justit would still be pretty awesome) 137 runs from his three innings. But the fundamental point stands that he has been relatively lucky. 

So is Maxwell the real deal? Or will he be usurped as the leading run-scorer and winner of the orange cap by another batsman?

Well, he's certainly the real deal. His ball-striking and stroke range are as good as anyone's in the league. He can score all around the ground and has both the temperament and the quality to maintain this assault.

Of course, if his luck turns, as it surely must in a season so long, then he'll no doubt find scoring 50 every innings is not quite so easy! But he remains a batsman of supreme potential and ability, and if he's not near the top of the run charts then I'll be very surprised! 

But who else could challenge him?

JP Duminy is the early candidate, as he has played a couple of superb innings for the Delhi Daredevils and his less explosive method is more risk-free than Maxwell's perennial high-wire walk. 

David Miller is third on the run-scoring charts, but his finishing as the leading run-scorer is unlikely considering his role at the Kings XI Punjab, which is mainly as a finisher/explosive hitter rather than someone around whom the team bats and is given space to build an innings. It's not impossible, but unlikely. 

The next two players on the run chart, Manish Pandey and Dwayne Smith, are more likely challengers. Pandey's more restrained method is aligned somewhere near Duminy's—not a reckless attack, but still fast-paced, accelerated modern batting—which certainly lends to heavy run-scoring. 

Smith is an opening batsman who has had great success in the past in the IPL and now at Chennai, where he is unburdened from the ageing Sachin Tendulkar, whom he partnered at the Mumbai Indians. His chances of returning a big season are higher. 

Outside the early chasing pack there will be others too. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, India's batting triumvirate who all bat similarly and in the top order, will have plenty of crease time to pile on the runs.

If he can return from injury, Kevin Pietersen is never more dangerous than when he has a point to proveand after all the drama of his England exit, no one can take seriously his claim that he has nothing to prove. Then of course there is Chris Gayle, also out with injury.

But what Glenn Maxwell has over all of these immensely talented players is momentum and form. His form is fragile in the sense that he has ridden his luck, but it has instilled Maxwell with a shed-load of confidence—and nothing is more valuable in T20 cricket than confidence. 

It's early days and a lot can change, but Maxwell will surely be near the top, if not at the top, of the run charts by this season's end.