Maxi's thinking behind Narine switch-hit

Australia allrounder explains his strategy when facing Windies ace Sunil Narine

Glenn Maxwell could only shake his head and roll his eyes when he tried to explain how he confronted the variations of West Indies mystery spinner Sunil Narine in Barbados on Wednesday.

Even though, in the end, it was the West Indians who were left flummoxed by an extraordinary cameo from the Australian allrounder, which propelled his side into the ODI tri-series final and helped them avoid the ignominy of an early trip home.

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Maxwell was Australia's match-winner at Kensington Oval, his 26-ball innings of 46no securing a victory that appeared beyond the tourists for large portions of the night.

And it was a single piece on ingenuity, disdain and edge-of-your-seat brilliance that turned the match Australia's way.

Facing up to Narine with 38 runs required and 27 balls remaining, Maxwell reversed his stance at the point of delivery and powerfully swatted the spinner into the Greenidge & Haynes Stand on the western side of the ground.

It was the shot of a man who looked completely at ease with his opponent 22 yards away, but it belied the real truth.

"I wasn't picking him so I was just trying to hit it," Maxwell said, adding the audacious switch hit was a premeditated stroke.

"I was hoping every ball was going to be the carrom ball (which spins from leg to off), but I was just trying to hit it.

"I was trying to hit him over cover because I thought he was going to bowl an off-spinner into my hip. So I thought if I could get it over cover, even if I didn't get it, I was going to get two.

"And it was the other one that just spun perfectly into the bat, which was handy." 

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Maxwell's daring shot at such a crucial juncture of the match was made even more remarkable by what had come beforehand.

Narine's first delivery to the right-hander spun sharply back into the batsman's body, squeezing through bat and pad and sailing over the stumps for two byes as the Australian attempted a cut shot through the off side.

A similarly fierce turner had bowled Maxwell through the gate in Guyana in Australia's first match of the series, ending his innings without scoring.

But despite being unable to read Narine's variations, Maxwell wasn't perturbed by the near miss.

"I felt like he couldn't bowl me from (the length) he bowled that ball," Maxwell said of a surface that offered more bounce than in previous matches during the series.

"It would have had to keep low for it to bowl me, so I just tried to hit the gap on the off side, I thought there was a pretty big gap at cover so I just tried to hit that.

"It spun sharply and went over the stumps pretty comfortably. So I wasn't overly worried, but obviously it looks bad when you look on the big screen and you see it's gone between bat and pad and over the stumps.

"I didn't think he could get me out bowled with the bounce." 

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Maxwell's switch hit into the stands proved to be the fillip he needed to spur Australia to victory.

Having muscled paceman Shannon Gabriel over the in-field for two boundaries in the previous over, Maxwell then hit two fours and a six from the final three deliveries of the next over to all but secure the win.

And a sweetly timed sweep shot to the fine leg boundary off Narine in the penultimate over of the match capped off Maxwell's thrilling performance, one that left Windies coach Phil Simmons stunned.

"You have to give credit where credit is due," he said. "Maxwell came out and played a blinder for them.

"That's the sort of person he is. One day he'll give you (his wicket) first ball and the next day he can win the game like that.

"You can't take anything away from him. He's that dangerous. He's as dangerous as anyone with the range of shots he can play."