by Kobe Jacobs, ACS Literary Scholar
India looks like the team to beat in this year’s 2023 ODI tournament. The hosts do seem destined to lift the trophy this year, having been unbeaten so far. Their winning streak signifies the strength that Rohit Sharma has within his playing unit, and also illustrates the high level of quality cricket the Indians have been playing. One would think that they cruise past New Zealand to reach the final for the first time since 2011 but honestly, who knows?
As good as the story would sound in India in winning this year’s tournament on their home soil to become the second outright nation for ODI World Cups, wouldn’t the Australian revival story sound a whole lot better? The Aussies campaign couldn’t have had more of a disappointing start. Many might have even doubted the team’s capability to turn things around. Though here we are 30 days later and such disappointment has turned into genuine optimism. Our country has now turned it around and such a swift spurt of good form has been attributed largely to one man, Glen Maxwell. Centuries along the way to Warner, Marsh and Head have contributed significantly to right a listing ship however.
The way Maxwell strikes the ball with such venom and conviction makes him a player you always have your eyes glued to when watching him play. And with South Africa to come in the semi-final, I’d imagine Kagiso Rabada and co might have to think twice when bowling to the Victorian. It’s crazy to imagine that within the space of a couple of weeks, Maxwell managed the quickest-ever ODI World Cup century, to then falling off a golf cart and missing the England game and then producing what might just have been one of the greatest innings ever in cricket.
Maxwell’s courageous knock of 201 against Afghanistan will be an innings that will be remembered for a very long time. The way he was able to save his country from the depths of despair whilst being limited to shots that required no leg movement can only be described as incredible. Maxwell had no right to win that game off his own bat and yet he did. We all know how much of a great innovator he is with his batting, but that innings showed cricketing innovation at a whole new level, even for Maxwell’s crazy standards.
For the average cricketer, we can have fun trying to re-create the brilliance of Glen Maxwell’s batting. However, it will always be a struggle to pull off the shots he can produce because quite frankly, it’s just too difficult to replicate. And when his international career does come to an end, Glenn Maxwell, “The Big Show” is a batsman who will be remembered for his creative flair and raw talent. He is one of the game’s great entertainers, but he also might just be that little bit of x-factor the Australians need to clinch their sixth ODI World Cup trophy.
Australian Cricket Society’s literary scholar Kobe Jacobs is mentored by writer John Harms. His pieces are also published at www.footyalmanac.com.au .