Maxwell was termed the IPL Player of the Tournament in 2014 © AFP
Maxwell was termed the IPL Player of the Tournament in 2014 © AFP

The Australian side might be going through a rough patch in India, with all the controversy around Steven Smith’s DRS in the Bengaluru Test, but the alliance between the players from two teams is going strong in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for sure. The news is supported by the fact that Glenn Maxwell has been announced the captain for the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The 28-year old now joins the ranks of the other Australian players, to lead IPL teams for the 10th edition — Steven Smith, who will lead Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and David Warner, who will continue his association as captain with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the winners of last year’s IPL title.

With his lack of experience as captain, it has been quite a surprise that Maxwell has been given the responsibility, taking over from former captain of the side and Indian opener, Murali Vijay. Maxwell’s chance of leadership was challenged by some of the eminent international players like England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan, former West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy and South Africa veteran Hashim Amla.

The captaincy of KXIP was formerly entrusted to Vijay, mid way during last year’s tournament, after the team with South African batsman David Miller as captain went on to lose five of its six games. Maxwell has had a brilliant time in IPL in the past as he was termed the IPL Player of the Tournament in 2014, but was excused in the 2016 edition following injuries. Maxwell now joins the ranks of legendary Australian players after George Bailey, David Hussey and legendary wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who have lead the Punjab franchise in the past.

With Maxwell’s appointment as the captain, the number of Australian players in the Kings XI franchise comes up to three, in addition to Test squad members Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis. Currently, Maxwell is all focussed in pushing a position for himself in Australia XI for the 3rd Test in Ranchi, as Mitchell Marsh has bowed out of the series following a shoulder injury.