Qantas T20 Tour of NZ 2021
Maxwell pumped for 'next level' IPL with Kohli, de Villiers
Australia star Glenn Maxwell opens up on his massive IPL payday, and how he countered the sledging from boisterous New Zealand crowds in opening two games
1 March 2021, 02:00 PM AEST
Glenn Maxwell says Virat Kohli is the best multi-format cricketer in the world as he prepares to team up with the Indian superstar next month at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kohli's Indian Premier League side opened the chequebook to sign Maxwell for A$2.5 million for the 2021 season, in a side that also includes AB de Villiers.
Maxwell said his link up was "really exciting", given Kohli's ability and following.
"It's going to be next level," Maxwell told AAP.
"He's been the pinnacle of the game for a while as a multi-format player from Tests all the way to T20s.
"He's been able to adapt his game, dominate for a long period of time and deal with the Indian pressure of being their captain and their best player.
"I'm looking forward to watching him go about his work, not just in games but in training, and hopefully tapping into some of the leadership stuff and try and learn off him."
Maxwell said the pair had developed a "good friendship" over the years as opponents.
Kohli went in to bat for Maxwell when the Victorian opened up about his challenges with mental health and took a break from cricket in 2019.
"He's been a solid backer of my stance," Maxwell said.
"In a way he probably understood a lot of the things that I was going through ... a lot of expectation and pressure, which I'm sure he can relate to."
Bangalore have a strong Australian connection this season, with fellow Australian T20 squad teammates Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa and Josh Philippe joining Maxwell at the IPL side, as well as veteran Dan Christian.
Australia are currently 2-0 down in the T20 series against New Zealand, which has been redrawn due to a COVID19 outbreak in Auckland.
Maxwell and his teammates will attempt a series comeback with three matches in Wellington behind closed doors.
That will spare the 32-year-old from the sledging he's faced so far this series.
The small ground was packed with students, fresh from O-Week in last Thursday's clash, eager to have a crack at the visiting superstar.
"I was copping an absolute ribbing ... nothing too clever. All so predictable," Maxwell said, sharing his strategy for dealing with them.
"I thought 'I've got to put a pin in this'.
"So I went over and I was like, 'Alright, calm it down. One at a time so I can understand.'
"I gave them all individually a chance to have a crack at me.
"And I was like, 'You? Yep, OK pretty good. OK, you, your turn. Yep not too bad'.
"I gave them all a chance to spray me instead on them just yelling random abuse.
"Then they started abusing me for being overrated and they started a chant.
"I got them to quieten down and then I told them 'I'm overpaid' and they erupted laughing.
"I was just trying to get them on side, trying to calm them down.
"It was getting to the point of rank abuse and I was trying to add a fun element."
Qantas T20I tour of New Zealand 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, *Martin Guptill (pending fitness test), Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee. *Finn Allen (on stand-by for Guptill)
1st T20: New Zealand won by 53 runs
2nd T20: New Zealand won by four runs
All matches will be shown live in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo