Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/10/25/hayden-maxwell-could-be-our-kp

Hayden: Maxwell could be our KP

UPDATED 25 October, 2013 11:44AM AEST | 10

Glenn Maxwell has the potential to become Australia's answer to Ashes tormentor Kevin Pietersen, Test champion Matthew Hayden says.

Pietersen played a key role in England's three-straight Ashes victories and made his Ashes debut in the breakthrough 2005 triumph which broke Australia's eight-series win streak.

The 33-year-old has scored 1864 Ashes runs and averages 49 against Australia but it was his aggressive style of play that was key to England's resurgence.

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A generation of England cricketers had been brought up watching Australia grind them into the dirt but Pietersen blasted them out of it with his audacious play.

Now the shoe is on the other foot with Australia feeling the squeeze.

Hayden sees many of Pietersen's qualities in the ever-developing Maxwell, who underlined his talents with a special innings of 92 in Wednesday's Ranchi washout.

Arriving at the crease with Australia on the ropes at 4-71, Maxwell broke away from his reputation as an uncouth slogger in a record-breaking 153-run partnership with skipper George Bailey (98) to rescue the tourists.

"And it was just class. There's no doubt about his talent," Hayden told AAP.

Maxwell even produced two plays straight out of the Pietersen playbook - thumping two switch hits off Ravindra Jadeja sweetly for six and four respectively.

"It was Kevin Pietersen-esque, you know?" Hayden said.

"He's a great talent. It's good to see that we have got those options.

"We'll need all of those as well when we come to choosing the first Test match (for the Ashes).

"I think he can have an influence on a game like Pietersen."

Unsurprisingly, Maxwell wants to be his own man on the field but, like Pietersen, he says he can inject plenty of energy into any side.

"I feel like I bring my own sort of energy," he told AAP.

"I don't like to compare myself to other cricketers.

"I feel like I'm a completely different cricketer.

"I play different shots. I go about my game a little bit different to everyone else."

The 25-year-old was delighted, however, to get an opportunity to showcase his maturing game.

More regularly told to cut loose in the final 15 overs, Wednesday's game allowed Maxwell to build an innings and try to break the stereotype which is beginning to accompany him.

"You get that stereotype with the way Australia needs you to play," he said.

"And all the times I've come in to bat for Australia have been those times where you need to go bananas and try and hit from ball one.

"It was nice to actually be given the opportunity to play a mature innings and really show how I think my batting is going."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

First Posted 25 October, 2013 11:37AM AEST

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