First things first. Chris Rogers should get an honourable mention before this progresses any further. During Middlesex's county match against Yorkshire, Rogers hit an unbeaten 241 to help his side chase down 472. It was a sublime effort that deserves many plaudits. He had a good April, but it is Glenn Maxwell who has entertained the masses and pips his compatriot to our world cricket batsman of the month title.
Maxwell has had a very productive April. In five Indian Premier League outings, he has amassed 300 runs at an average of 60.00 with a strike-rate of 201.34. Those innings included two scores of 95 and one score of 89. There have been blips in between, but Maxwell was hands down the batsman during April.
Maxwell has blossomed into a big-hitting batsman this season, and he has tormented almost every bowling attack that has gotten in his way. What has been most remarkable is his improvisation. He has been so destructive that he has single-handedly hit more sixes than the entire Mumbai Indians team combined.
Maxwell is far from a classic product. His most common approach is to slog, almost blindly, at everything. He's also far from the charming and orthodox players that delicately craft an innings. However, he is very entertaining. His consistency during the early stages of the IPL is something that his career has previously lacked. Though his form has dwindled in the last few games, it will almost certainly return at some point.
What has been most impressive about Maxwell is that—despite his inelegant approach to batting—his placement is almost always spot on. Most of the time that placement has been somewhere in the highest stands. Even for other the more subdued boundaries, he almost always manages to find the gap. That kind of awareness takes a special kind of player and it takes somebody with a special kind of temperament to pull it off consistently. He has had a slice of luck to help propel him to such great heights, but that's all part of the game.
In an interview with iplt20.com, Maxwell admitted that part of his approach is to manipulate the fielders.
I actually try to manipulate the fielders as much as I can. It depends on the bowler and the size of the boundary, which I try to target. I just try to target areas that I feel are my strengths and also survey the field. At the moment, I have got something that is working for me and I am going to keep trying to do that as much as I can.
Maxwell is the kind of player who keeps things simple. His coach with the Australian national team, Darren Lehman, told ABC's 7.30 that he doesn't spend too much time talking to players like Maxwell, he just let's them be.
I wouldn't talk to David Warner too long, because he wouldn't understand, he'd lose it. So I keep it really short for guys like that, Glenn Maxwell, and that's fine, that's when they play their best cricket.
T20 cricket, although challenging in some aspects, thrives on crowd entertainment and giving the viewer something they will remember. It's about being calm and relaxed and just enjoying the basics and that's something Maxwell is doing.
I don't get burdened by pressure. Pressure is something that you put on yourself. I put pressure on myself before a game or before I go out to bat. But once when I go out there to bat, I just enjoy it and have a little bit of fun. I look at the total and take it from there.
He might not be a Test prospect or a have the most classical cover drive, but when it comes to hit-and-giggle entertainment, Maxwell excels.
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