That's the greatest ODI innings that I've ever seen: Cummins
Maxwell's unbeaten 201 turned things around spectacularly and single-handedly handed Afghanistan defeat.
Australia captain Pat Cummins, at the other end for most part of the Glenn Maxwell special on Tuesday night at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, reckoned it was the greatest ODI innings that he had ever seen. "I think that's the greatest ODI innings that I've ever seen, and probably the greatest ODI innings ever. It was one of those days where you go: I was there at the stadium when Glenn Maxwell did that," Cummins told reporters after Australia's stunning three-wicket victory against Afghanistan.
Maxwell's unbeaten 201 turned things around spectacularly and single-handedly handed Afghanistan defeat. Cummins, who made 12 off 68, gave most of the strike to Maxwell in their match-winning partnership that took Australia from 91/7 to 293/7. Cummins said when he walked out to bat in the 19th over, all he was thinking about was survival, and was pretty sure Maxwell was thinking about how to get over the line.
"Initially when I walked out there...the ball was spinning a bit and they were bowling really well. For me, it was about hanging in there and Maxi was still scoring quite freely. We knew it would get easier, and our run rate was never going to be an issue with Maxi still at the crease. For me, it was basically about survival. Pretty simple plan, didn't look too far ahead. I think Maxi maybe was thinking differently -- he's always plotting his way to a win," Cummins said.
"When Maxi got his hundred, I think we still needed about 120 or something, and I thought: "No way". I guess it wasn't until the spinners were just about done and it was maybe 40 off 40 that I thought okay if Maxi gets out here, I think the other guys can get it done.
The turning point, in hindsight, was the LBW that was reversed when Maxwell was on 27. The life -- he was also dropped a few balls later -- freed him up.
"I suppose for me it was still trying to be positive, still trying to take them on and trying to produce bad balls or something else I could score off," Maxwell said in the post-match presentation. "Even with the LBW that was just going over the top, that was probably the kick-start I needed to sort of tell myself to start playing my shots and be a bit more proactive."
During the final 10 overs of the chase, Maxwell collapsed on the ground after completing a single. While he was being attended to by the physio for a considerable time, Cummins said he thought he would be going off because he simply couldn't move.
'Yeah, I thought he was going off. So, I kind of signalled to Zamps (Adam Zampa) to get down there. He (Maxwell) literally couldn't move. But the physio kind of convinced Maxi that if he came off, it might be worse. So try to hang out there and stand up, that's probably your best bet there (with cramps)," Cummins said.
The Australian skipper labelled his premier all-rounder as a freak who is so difficult to bowl to. And some of the shots that Maxwell played around the Wankhede against some of the best spinners of Afghanistan certainly showed why.
"It looks so easy from the other end. It feels like every time it hits his bat it runs for a four. Still can't believe how he manages to hit a six over third man with a reverse...just, he's a freak. He hits in such different areas (of the ground).
The Mumbai crowd too got into this epic match, going from leaning more towards Afghanistan for most of the day to Australia, and Maxwell in particular, as the evening and magic progressed.
"The crowd's normally on Maxi's side whenever we're playing over here. You could hear it getting louder and louder with each boundary," Cummins said.
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