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Maxwell responds to Gavaskar’s ‘careless’ jibe with fastest-ever World Cup 100 | Cricket


Maxwell responds to Gavaskar’s ‘careless’ jibe with fastest-ever World Cup 100 | Cricket

Glenn Maxwell has arrived at the ICC World Cup 2023. It took time but it came at last and when it did, there was no better sight. After a string of low scores in the tournament, Maxwell blasted the fastest-ever World Cup century off 40 balls in a dazzling display of strokeplay as Australia romped their way to a mammoth 399 for 8 against the Netherlands at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. Despite having scores 15, 3, 31* and 0 to his name, it would be a bit of a stretch to state that Maxwell was under pressure walking into this game. Is he ever under pressure? Even if he is, his batting surely doesn’t give out anything.

Australia's Glenn Maxwell celebrates his century during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between Australia and Netherlands in New Delhi, India, Wednesday.(AP)
Australia’s Glenn Maxwell celebrates his century during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match between Australia and Netherlands in New Delhi, India, Wednesday.(AP)

Maxwell was slammed left and right for the way he got out in the last match against Pakistan. He was promoted to No.3 after openers Mitchell Marsh and David Warner slammed centuries. The plan was clear – to go all guns blazing from the word go. But even then, he perhaps had just enough time to give himself a delivery or two, certainly against Pakistan’s best bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi. Nope, Maxwell didn’t think so. He got his front leg out of the way, had a wild swing at his first ball and skied one to mid-off.

Gavaskar tears apart Maxwell

So unhappy was legendary Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar with Maxwell’s shot selection, that in the pre-match show on Star Sports on Wednesday, he called the Australia all-rounder careless.

“It’s a matter of ego. I think he was happy at RCB when he was given the No.3 slot. He felt he was important, he needed to make a contribution in every match. Here he is batting at 5, 6, and 7. In cricket, there is a thin line between carefree and careless. He has been on the careless side (in this World Cup) more. That first-ball dismissal against Pakistan, what kind of a shot was that? So clearly, (he was) careless and not carefree,” Gavaskar said.

Maxwell replies with the bat

Little did the former India captain know that Maxwell would come up with such a roaring answer with the bat about three hours later. Maxwell walked in at the end of the 39th over when Australia had just lost the wicket of Josh Inglish but David Warner and Steve Smith had made sure they were in a commanding position at 266/4 with 11 overs still to play.

However, the Netherlands just started to pull things back a bit. Warner (104), who slammed his 22nd ODI century, was out on the first ball of the next over. Australia were once again showing signs of not being able to finish strong, just like they did against Pakistan. But Maxwell decided to step up.

Unlike the Pakistan match, he did not go for a full-monty swing early in his innings. Instead, he got off the mark with a silken on-drive that would make even Gavaskar proud. His next boundary was a booming drive through the covers. Maxwell meant business. It was a clear sign that he was ready to play cricketing shots till he got his eyes in. That’s when he is the most dangerous.

Australia lost Cameron Green to a run-out in the 43rd over. Now, it was up to Maxwell to give the finishing touches to the Australian innings. And so he did. He provided half a chance in the 44th over when Teja Nidamanuru could not hold on to a difficult catch running backwards and from then on, it was pure carnage.

Maxwell on his way to the fastest World Cup century

Maxwell brought up his fifty with a six off just 27 balls and then blasted six sixes and two fours in his next 13 deliveries to bring up his third ODI century and also the fastest in World Cup history. He beat South Africa’s Aiden Markram by 9 deliveries.

This was also the fourth fastest century in ODIs only behind AB de Villiers (off 31 balls vs West Indies in 2015), Corey Anderson (off 36 balls vs West Indies in 2014), and Shahid Afridi (off 37 balls vs Sri Lanka 1996).

Maxwell finished with 106 off 44 balls in an innings that was laced with 8 sixes and 9 fours. “Probably just cleared my head a bit to just go out and play. The situation when Davey and Greeny got out, I had to take it deep a little bit. Patty was good as well. Even if they are banging it into the wicket, I feel I have enough time to go after it. And when they are bowling quick, my hands have to be faster. Just generally try to get it over the infield,” Maxwell said.

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