Sport Cricket The story behind Glenn Maxwell’s freakish skill

The story behind Glenn Maxwell’s freakish skill

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It was the reverse discrimination in his childhood which helped make Glenn Maxwell become a reverse-sweeping millionaire.

Banned from playing cricket by his primary school because he was too good, the only way he was allowed to join in at lunchtimes with his mates was if he agreed to bat left-handed.

Now every time a helpless ODI bowler watches in dismay as Maxwell switch-hits them over the longest boundary for six, they can blame his Melbourne school teachers for creating cricket’s ultimate bully boy.

Maxwell fell for 93 off 46 balls against Zimbabwe earlier this week trying to blast one straight down the ground.

His regret afterwards wasn’t that he didn’t keep it along the ground and ease his way to a maiden hundred, but that he missed a chance to switch hit a reverse sweep for six.

The only downside to having freakish natural talent is if you’re forbidden to use it – but the 25-year-old Maxwell is now getting his own back as an Australian ODI and Twenty20 superstar.

“I batted right handed for about a week at school because I just didn’t want to get out. So I got banned from playing primary school cricket with my mates,” said Maxwell of his junior days.

“I stayed away from it for a while and played basketball.

“But then I played a lot at school left-handed, just because I wasn’t allowed to play (otherwise).

“It’s something you have to practice I suppose and dad always kept pushing me to keep trying to do new things.”

Australia’s philosophy under Darren Lehmann is to win first and entertain second, which is exactly how Maxwell wants to play his cricket.

Comfortable he’s in the perfect spot at No.5, Maxwell admits he’s looking to add to his seemingly bottomless selection of shots leading into the World Cup.

However, he acknowledges that being the entertainer comes at a cost.

No matter how many breathtaking boundaries he hits, every time he gets out playing an outlandish shot – like on Wednesday against South Africa – people will be asking, why?

“I’ve had that a few times but I think it’s a calculated risk sometimes because you generally get a good idea of what the bowler’s going to bowl,” he said.

“With four guys out (in one-day cricket) it makes it extremely difficult to defend.

“Generally I have a pretty good idea where the ball is going to go depending on the field.

“So I think you’ve got to go with that.

“Australia has always played a really entertaining brand of cricket and that’s just second nature to us.

“When we go out there we try and dominate teams and put on a really good show.”