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IPL 2014: Glenn Maxwell’s battle against Pravin Tambe crucial for Rajasthan Royals

The battle between Glenn Maxwell (Left) and Pravin Tambe promises to be an interesting one © IANS
The battle between Glenn Maxwell (Left) and Pravin Tambe promises to be an interesting one © IANS

Glenn Maxwell has been dismissed by leg-spinners six times in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014, five of which have come in the last five matches. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at this interesting tussle between Maxwell and the leggies.

It is quite clear that Glenn Maxwell doesn’t like the leg-spinners. In 12 matches at the Indian Premier League (IPL), he has been dismissed by the leg-spinner six times, five of which have come in the last five games. Maxwell started  the season brilliantly and continues to be a threatening batsman. However, the teams seem to have found a way to limit the damage by introducing the leggie as soon as he comes on. With Punjab into the playoffs and a couple of games to go, one can expect the others to use this tactic to good effect.

Maxwell loves the ball turning into him. He can then slog-sweep it over the leg-side with great power. It is a shot that has been very productive for him through the IPL, especially against the spinners. However, with the ball turning away, Maxwell hasn’t found it easy. Yuzvendra Chahal, Piyush Chawla, Shreyas Gopal, Amit Mishra (twice) and Imran Tahir have dismissed him during this season of the IPL. On five occasions, he has been dismissed trying to clear the ground. The last two dismissals have been googlies.

There have been occasions where Maxwell has tried to hit his way out, but then managed to find the fielders. Twice, he hit it to the man in the deep on the leg-side and down the ground for as many times. In fact, in one game, he was out to Mishra twice, once when he holed out during a no-ball. Perhaps, he doesn’t get enough bat onto it when it turns away that is causing his downfall. Some of the shots he has hit to the leg-side suggest that he did get the power but not the elevation. Normally, the off-spinners disappear flat via those slog sweeps, but it isn’t the case with the leggies.

Kings XI Punjab’s last two games in the league stage are against Delhi Daredevils and the Rajasthan Royals. Rajasthan would use Pravin Tambe to attack Maxwell and Delhi would turn to Tahir. Delhi have nothing to lose, but Rajasthan would bank on Tambe to come good on the day. They need a victory to seal a spot in the playoffs and Tambe would be crucial in that regard. If they get Maxwell early, they save a lot of runs. During their last encounter, Maxwell had smashed 89. However, Tambe finished with figures of none for 26 in his four overs. All the other bowlers were put to the sword.

In the playoffs, the teams would do well to bring in the leg-spinner. It is true that a team does not focus on one individual in the opposition, but when it is Maxwell, you need to have a proper plan with the right personnel. He can take the game away from you single-handedly and that is why, the teams would want to limit the damage. For example, if Chennai Super Kings face Punjab in the playoffs, they may well bring in Samuel Badree even though he hasn’t been a success. It is a gamble, but worth taking. Chennai would mull that move given the fact that they have been on the receiving end of his fury this time.

Maxwell does bring in the fear factor and within a season, he has become the crowd favourite. It shows the impact of his performances and Punjab would hope he comes good in the playoffs. To overcome the challenge of the leg-spinners is very much in Maxwell’s hands. This is where his cricketing mind would be tested.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

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 (Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

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