Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is back after a break, playing some of his best cricket – and this time it’s with a clear mind.
Maxwell’s glorious run for Melbourne Renegades has been one of the highlights of the ongoing Big Bash League. He is the second-highest run-scorer in the competition, just behind his Stars team-mate Marcus Stoinis, with 311 runs from eight innings so far. His audacious 360-degree game has been in full flow, and he leads the sixes count, having struck 18 over the ropes so far; seven of those came in a match-winning 83* against defending champions Melbourne Renegades at the Docklands Stadium on January 10.
These performances, upon his return to cricket after taking a break to deal with his mental health, come as a welcome sign. The 31-year-old fully credited the time he took away from the game for helping him reset and come back stronger, calmer and more refreshed.
Just Glenn Maxwell casually hitting a wide yorker over point for six.pic.twitter.com/YbOLmPqv0z
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 27, 2019
“Being mentally fresh before the tournament … I had no baggage coming in,” he told 7News. “I’ve got no demons in my head.
“I’ve been able to get everything off my chest and be able to deal with things better. I’m still talking to people about managing different parts of my life to make sure that I have that balance … It’s nice to be a bit more relaxed when I’m batting. I don’t have anything going on in the back of my mind, I don’t have any of these other thoughts. It’s been nice and calm out there.”
Maxwell, a regular in Australia’s limited overs set-up, might have been on the team flight for the tour of India, alongside his Stars team-mates Peter Handscomb and Adam Zampa, but a poor run in the World Cup last year, where he only scored 176 runs at an average of 22, has kept him away from ODI selection.
The all-rounder didn’t rue the omission, choosing instead to look ahead. “[The selectors] were probably right; my World Cup wasn’t good enough,” Maxwell said. “I think back to the break I had and I’m so thankful that Cricket Australia and all the powers that were able to grant me that break to get myself right, because I think I’m starting to see the benefits now.”
The Stars are currently on top of the league standings with seven wins from eight games, and the skipper aims to continue his own form and maintain the winning run. “I’ll just keep trying to do as well as I can for the Stars and keep leading them to wins.”