England v Australia ODIs - Men's
Maxwell credits Finch for sublime ODI series
Clarity of role has paved the way for Maxwell to shine in Australia's epic series win over the world champions
17 September 2020, 09:28 AM AEST
Glenn Maxwell has credited the clarity provided by captain Aaron Finch for his match-winning century against England to seal the ODI series for his country overnight.
Maxwell scored 108 from 90 balls, combining with Alex Carey (106 from 114) for a 212-run partnership to resurrect Australia's flailing run chase from 5-73 to within 18 runs of victory.
While he still struck at faster than a run-a-ball, it was a composed Maxwell who crafted Australia's comeback. He rotated the strike, hit with the breeze and to the short boundary and chose his moments to put his foot down.
It was the right-hander's second ODI century, some 2020 days since his maiden hundred in the 2015 World Cup where he batted at No.5 against Sri Lanka at the SCG.
But since that breakthrough knock in Sydney five years ago, Maxwell has been shuffled up and down Australia's batting order in search of regular residence.
In last year's World Cup in England, the 31-year-old batted in positions three through seven as Australia were knocked out by the hosts and eventual champions in the semi-finals.
Having spent the winter training alongside Australia's only other Victorian squad member, who also happens to be the side's captain, opening batter and close friend Finch, Maxwell entered the ODI series against England with a clear head knowing exactly what his skipper wanted from him coming at No.7.
That understanding translated into standout performances in the first and third matches at Old Trafford and it is no coincidence Australia won both those games.
Seven looks set to be Maxwell's ODI spot for the near future and the player of the series puts not only his performance but the team's success down to his captain.
"Every time you get a chance to play in this Australian team you take whatever role you're given," said Maxwell, who struck seven sixes and four fours in a superb display of 50-over batting.
"The really good thing is, even in the lockdown period, I was training with Finchy and we were able to talk about my role and certain things.
"I just had so much clarity on what he expected of me in that role and I think that gave me really good clarity out there.
"I was able to take the game on with the clarity he gave me before the tournament started and was able to ride on that momentum as well.
"Just knowing I had the backing of him is awesome.
"He's been great for this group over here, he's kept us all together, all 21 of us in the hub here.
"Whether it be in the field or with his batters he's been outstanding."
The comeback win by the Australians made amends for the devastating loss in the second ODI where a colossal batting collapse saw England level the series with a game to play and keep the hosts' run of 13 unbeaten ODI bilateral series alive.
But Wednesday's win snapped that streak and inflicted England's first loss on home soil since 2015, when Australia won 3-2 and Maxwell played a starring role.
Maxwell called the series win over the current world champions a "massive" stepping stone for this Australian side that is now targeting the next World Cup, in India in 2023.
"To take them down on home soil when they have been playing pretty consistent cricket over here and for us to start our summer off after a long time in lockdown with a series win against them was pretty incredible for this group," he said.
"We've worked so hard since coming together and it is just great that everyone could do the work back at home and when we got over here throughout the practice matches and training to get ourselves up to take on the world's best and beat them on their home soil."
2020 Tour of England
Australia's T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. Reserves: Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood