'As simple as that': Why Maxwell asked to be dropped

Superstar allrounder the second Aussie to be omitted from the RCB line up in consecutive IPL matches

Glenn Maxwell says he asked to be dropped for last night's high scoring Indian Premier League clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad but believes he can still have an impact for Royal Challengers Bengaluru if given another opportunity this season.

Maxwell told reporters following RCB's 25-run loss to Pat Cummins' Sunrisers that he felt it was the right time to take a "mental and physical break" after a tough start to his 2024 campaign.

The 35-year-old superstar allrounder had scored 32 runs in six innings to start the season, which included three ducks, as RCB slumped to the bottom of the standings with just one win.

Remarkably, Maxwell has been out in a different fashion each of those six occasions, his tournament starting with a first-ball duck against Chennai Super Kings where he tried to guide a ball to deep third off the middle of the bat but only succeeded in finding MS Dhoni's gloves.

The right-hander was then out bowled chopping on to a left-arm spinner, caught at deep point off right-arm off-spinner Sunil Narine for his top score of 28, caught at mid-on from a mis-timed pull shot from the right-arm pace of Mayank Yadav, bowled by right-arm pace and finally lbw to leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal's googly.

Maxwell is clean bowled by Rajasthan Royals left-arm quick Nandre Burger for one // AFP

"I probably just haven't got away, it's as simple as that," Maxwell said.

"In the first few games, I felt like I made reasonably good decisions but was still finding ways to get out.

"It can happen in T20 cricket and when it can snowball like that and you feel like you’re not getting the runs, you can start to go searching and try too hard and forget about the basics of the game.

"Even if you look at the first game, I ran one off the middle of the bat to the keeper by picking up the length really well.

"I saw a scoring opportunity and I opened the face (of the bat) a little bit too much, and when you're going really well, that goes just wide of the gloves, you get a boundary and you're four off one and all of a sudden you're away for the tournament.

"T20 cricket can be like that sometimes, it's a pretty fickle game."

Maxwell – the second Australian left out of RCB's line up in consecutive games after Cameron Green was also dropped for their previous match against his former side Mumbai Indians – could hardly have entered the 2024 IPL season in better touch.

Maxwell fields the ball after a dropped catch by Cameron Green against Rajasthan // AFP

In February, he smashed an incredible 55-ball 120 against the West Indies in the second T20I in Adelaide.

And he also made a century in his previous T20 international in India – a match-winning unbeaten 104 where he hit the final ball of the game for four to secure Australia a famous five-wicket victory chasing the hosts' 3-222.

"I don't think I've had a better six months in cricket leading into this tournament," he said. "So it's frustrating when it ends up like this.

"Unfortunately, the runs just haven't come the way they feel they should have when you're in really good form.

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"I put a lot of pride on my performance, and I've put a lot of hard work in behind the scenes to get my body right just for every game.

"It's been a pretty tough struggle, and my body is still (on) the wrong side of 30. (I'm) still doing as much as I can physically to get myself up for every game and I think that physical and mental toll just wore me down a little bit."

With seven games remaining in the season, RCB would likely need to win at least six to get themselves back in contention to qualify for the IPL playoffs.

But there's still plenty to play for for both Maxwell and Green if they can force their way back into the Royal Challengers' XI with a T20 World Cup beginning in a little more than six weeks' time.

Green's returns of 68 runs and two wickets from RCB's opening five matches has him a fair way back in Australia's allrounder queue behind Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis.

And with national selector George Bailey indicating there's a strong chance they'll pick a third spinner in the 15-player squad alongside Adam Zampa and Maxwell due to the slower and lower surfaces of the Caribbean, there's already potentially one less spot for a pace bowling allrounder.

But despite the lack of runs, Maxwell will still be one of the first picked in the Australian squad and believes the break from playing can help him return to top form.

"I've probably been in this situation before in the past where you can keep playing and get yourself deeper into a hole," he said.

"I think now is a good time to give myself a mental and physical break and get my body right.

"After the first few games hadn't really gone to plan personally for me, I thought it was a pretty easy decision to make.

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"I went to the coaches, (captain) Faf (du Plessis) last game and said, 'it's probably time we tried someone else'.

"I felt like I wasn't contributing in a positive way with the bat … and with our results and the position we find ourselves in on the table, it's a good time to give someone else an opportunity to try and show their wares and hopefully someone can make that spot their own.

"Hopefully, if I’m required again during the tournament, I can get back into a solid mental and physical space where I can have an impact still for RCB."

New Zealand speedster Lockie Ferguson was the overseas player who replaced Maxwell in RCB's team for their clash against the Sunrisers.

He claimed two wickets but went at 13 runs per over from his four as Travis Head blazed an incredible 39-ball century to propel Hyderabad to 3-287 – the highest team score in IPL history, beating their 3-277 from earlier in the season.

English allrounder Will Jacks – who replaced Green in the RCB line up – has registered scores of eight and seven in his two matches and taken a solitary wicket.

IPL 2024 standings

Matches played
No results
Net Run Rate
Total points
1 Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata Knight Riders KKR 14 9 3 0 2 1.428 0 20
2 Sunrisers Hyderabad Sunrisers Hyderabad SUN 14 8 5 0 1 0.414 0 17
3 Rajasthan Royals Rajasthan Royals RAJ 14 8 5 0 1 0.273 0 17
4 Royal Challengers Bengaluru Men Royal Challengers Bengaluru Men RCB 14 7 7 0 0 0.459 0 14
5 Chennai Super Kings Chennai Super Kings CSK 14 7 7 0 0 0.392 0 14
6 Delhi Capitals Men Delhi Capitals Men DEL 14 7 7 0 0 -0.377 0 14
7 Lucknow Super Giants Lucknow Super Giants LSG 14 7 7 0 0 -0.667 0 14
8 Gujarat Titans Gujarat Titans GUT 14 5 7 0 2 -1.063 0 12
9 Punjab Kings Punjab Kings KXI 14 5 9 0 0 -0.353 0 10
10 Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians MI 14 4 10 0 0 -0.318 0 8

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

T: Ties

N/R: No results

NRR: Net Run Rate

Ded.: Deductions

PTS: Total points

Australians in IPL 2024

Delhi Capitals: Mitch Marsh (A$1.2m), David Warner (A$1.16m), Jhye Richardson (A$890,000), Jake Fraser-McGurk (A$92,000)

Gujarat Titans: Spencer Johnson (A$1.78m), Matthew Wade (A$446,000)

Kolkata Knight Riders: Mitchell Starc (A$4.43m)

Lucknow Super Giants: Marcus Stoinis (A$1.7m), Ashton Turner (A$178,000)

Mumbai Indians: Tim David (A$1.53m)

Punjab Kings: Nathan Ellis (A$135,000)

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Cameron Green (A$3.15m), Glenn Maxwell (A$2m)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Pat Cummins (A$3.67m), Travis Head (A$1.2m)

*Prices in AUD, conversions correct at time of auction