Qantas Tour of NZ 2018
Maxwell focused on fight, not flair
After his final-ball century in Hobart, Glenn Maxwell is prouder of the way he started his innings than the way he ended it
Louis Cameron at Blundstone Arena
8 February 2018, 07:32 AM AEST
Glenn Maxwell has always seen the game slightly differently, but he might just be the first person to walk off after a 58-ball T20 century and be more eager to discuss how he negotiated a testing early period of bowling than the ensuing fireworks that marked a rare milestone.
Few of the roughly 10,000-strong Hobart crowd would have gone home on Wednesday evening remembering Maxwell's measured early approach against England’s attack, buoyed by the departures of David Warner and Chris Lynn inside the first over.
The final 45 balls of his incredible innings, which yielded 92 runs in a breathtaking display of power-hitting, will be the ones most vividly recalled by those who saw them.
But the Victorian was more proud of the initial 13 deliveries he faced, which brought him just 11 runs after coming in at 2-4 in the first over, and the way he was able to play a match-winning hand with a steady stream of wickets falling at the other end.
"The way I worked after the start – 2-4 in the first over while the ball was swinging around a bit - to get through that was probably something people had doubted in my ability," Maxwell said after leading Australia's five wicket win.
"Being able to get through tough periods of bowling and they had the ball moving around.
"To get through those first three or four overs where the ball was zipping around (was pleasing).
"I was able to hit a couple in the middle and once you do that you can on a bit of a roll.
"Unfortunately as soon I got onto a bit of a roll, we'd lose a wicket and I'd have to start again.
"It was a bit of a stuttered innings in that regard but it was good to be able to get through and be not out at the end."
Maxwell finished unbeaten on 103 having struck a six to seal the win and his century, becoming the first Australian to hit multiple T20I hundreds. He struck his maiden ton against Sri Lanka in 2016.
Much like his summer, Maxwell found himself right in the thick of the action on Wednesday.
His first involvement in the game was when he dropped dangerous opener Alex Hales on five, but he soon made up for his blunder after a captaincy masterstroke from David Warner.
After Travis Head's first over was pasted for 14, Warner threw the ball to another part-time off-spinner in Maxwell, who duly delivered with the vital scalps of skipper Eoin Morgan (22), top-scorer Dawid Malan (50) and danger-hitter David Willey (three).
Hales would later put Maxwell down himself but it was another missed chance that set tongues wagging, with the Victorian controversially given a life when the third umpire overturned an on-field 'soft signal' by deeming Jason Roy's outfield catch not out.
Maxwell’s last ball six confirmed England's fate and he explained it was a feeling of pure joy when he muscled Mark Wood over the square leg rope.
"He followed me, I just thought I'd throw the kitchen sink at it and hopefully get enough of it," Maxwell said of his century-sealing blow.
"It came pretty high off the bat and I was lucky enough to get it a metre or two over the rope.
"That was enough and it was just elation after that, it was a really good feeling."
It continues what's been an eventful 2017-18 season for Maxwell.
The lows have been plentiful; he was axed from the Test side for the Ashes, dropped from the one-day international team while his training ethic was questioned by national captain Steve Smith.
Yet his responses on the field have been emphatic. Maxwell is presently the JLT Sheffield Shield's leading run-scorer having bashed a career-best 278 against NSW in December, was the Melbourne Stars' leading run-scorer in the KFC BBL and has now struck 143 runs in the first two T20Is of this Gillette series without being dismissed.
Rather than feeling aggrieved, Maxwell concedes he may have previously been given chances for Australia when he didn't deserve it.
"The positive thing for me with this summer is that when I've come back into the Australian team, I've been in good form leading into it," he said.
"The pleasing thing for me this summer, it's a been lot more consistent," he said.
"I've been able to consistently get involved in the game and be influential in certain parts. That's probably the biggest change from this summer (to) last summer where there were mixed results that didn't warrant selections back into the (national) side.
"I was probably lucky enough to get my opportunity and then get the same scattered results after that."
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.
First T20I Australia won by seven wickets. Scorecard
Second T20I Australia won by five wickets. Scorecard
Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21