Big Show comes to the party


If batsmen were to be played only in particular formats based strictly on their batting style or even image, then Test cricket would have missed the excitement that Virender Sehwag brought to it. Had Sehwag not happened, David Warner would still probably be playing only in the shorter versions, as indeed would be Glenn Maxwell.

With a reputation to destroy attacks in ODIs and T20s but an equal propensity for self-destruction in the longer version, Maxwell’s Test career had progressed at a pace which will make Zimbabwe’s GDP growth look faster. Having made his debut against India in Mohali during Australia’s 2013 series, the right-hander had played just two more Tests after that before the ongoing third Test here. This, in fact, is his fourth Test in four years and comes after a gap of almost three years.

This was probably a make-or-mar moment for Maxwell — nick named ‘Big Show’ — so far as his Test career was concerned. Had he failed here and with the series going to be on the line in Dharamsala, it could well have been the final opportunity for him.

Under obvious pressure to perform, Maxwell grabbed the chance and how! A century (103) that may well be the defining moment of his Test career.

“I certainly hope so,” said Maxwell when asked if this innings could make his Test career. “I can’t really answer that right now but hopefully, it’ll just tick something inside and I can continue to be consistent. I think that’s always been the biggest thing the coaches, selectors have wanted -- the consistency. If I can keep producing longer innings and batting long periods of time, building partnerships with other players, I think that’s going to go a long way in, firstly, holding my spot and secondly, winning games for Australia,” he offered.

Maxwell said he was filled with pride when he walked out to bat on Thursday after such a long gap. “To get back in the side in the first place was something that I really held close to my heart. I was so happy to be able to walk on the field with the Australian Test team with the Baggy Green cap on (on my debut) and I was so filled with joy when I got told I had the opportunity to do that again. I suppose I just didn’t really want to waste the opportunity. I didn’t want to make it my last Test, that’s for sure. I know how bad it felt when I didn’t get another (chance). I played that last game in Dubai and didn’t play again. Just wanted to make it count and every opportunity I get from now on,” he elaborated.

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