Maxwell was on 10 off 11 balls when Virat Kohli tossed the ball to Krunal Pandya, a decision which probably turned the match in the hosts' favour. The hard-hitting batsman, whose timing was off till that time got going with three sixes in the over. Having found his mojo, Maxwell then smoked 36 off his next 12 balls before the rain break, taking Australia to 153/3 in 16.1 overs.
It is notable that Maxwell faced just two balls against the seamers in his entire stay at the wicket and he was dismissed off one of them – the first ball he faced against Jasprit Bumrah after the break.
The No.1 ODI bowler in the world has had the wood over the Australian in the shortest format of the game. Overall, in 33 balls Bumrah had bowled against Maxwell in T20s across the IPL and international cricket (before the Gabba T20I), the pacer had dismissed him a total of five times, which roughly translates to a wicket every sixth ball.
This turned into six dismissals in 34 balls at the Gabba. Therefore it was slightly odd that the Indian skipper chose not to give his frontline seamer a go at Maxwell when he was still finding his straps.
The Australian has been in scintillating form in T20Is since the last ICC World T20 – he is the highest run-scorer for his side in this time – and averages over 50, striking at 165.56. The strike-rate, however, is much lower against Bumrah against whom he scores at a rate of 111.76 (38 runs in 34 balls).
47.06% of all balls Bumrah bowls at Maxwell are dots and he averages a deplorable 4.75 against the Indian seamer.
Bumrah is possibly best used against Maxwell early in his innings, a ploy India missed at the Gabba. Given the immense influence Maxwell has had in the T20I setup, he will be a major thorn in India’s attempts to bounce back in the series. However, the visitors could make use of Bumrah to keep the 'Big Show' at bay in the coming games.
First Published: November 23, 2018, 12:52 AM IST