Australia v India ODIs 2015-16
Maxwell's leaf out of Sehwag's book
Australian allrounder says Indian legend's relaxed attitude brings fresh perspective to his own game
Martin Smith in Canberra
19 January 2016, 10:38 PM AEST
Glenn Maxwell bats like Virender Sehwag and the Australian says he's trying to think like the Indian legend as well.
It's easy to draw comparisons between Sehwag and Maxwell, at least in terms of their swashbuckling style and what can seem like a complete disregard for bowler, conditions and the situation of the match.
As Maxwell revealed to cricket.com.au this week, far more thought goes in to his batting than a simple 'see ball, hit ball, mentality.
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Still, his ability to attack the bowlers in what are still the early stages of his international career is almost unparalleled in the modern game.
Sehwag made a career out of batting in this manner, plundering more than 17,000 international runs during 13 years at the top level, including 8,586 at Test level at an incredible strike rate of 82.23.
It places him behind just Pakistan's Shahid Afridi for players with the highest career strike rates, faster than Adam Gilchrist, Sir Vivian Richards and Sanath Jayasuriya.
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While Maxwell still has a long way to go to emulate the feats of Sehwag, who along with Sir Donald Bradman, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle are the only men to have scored two 300+ scores in Test cricket, the Australian's career is on an upward trajectory.
Sehwag and Maxwell played together at both the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League and formed a bond close enough for the Australian to have a not-so-subtle dig at his follicly-challenged senior teammate, responding "I have more hair than Sehwag" when asked on Sunday about the similarities between him and the Indian star.
But the Australian added he has learnt a lot from Sehwag, particularly about his relaxed approach to the game.
"He's a guy who’s so chilled out and laid back. He doesn't get so caught up in his results," Maxwell said.
"He'll just say 'Someday Sehwag hits ball, it's OK. Some days not such, it's OK too. Tomorrow sun comes up, it's OK'.
"With that sort of attitude it gives a fresh perspective on the way you look at your own game as well.
"Not putting as much pressure on yourself to perform and try to enjoy the game a bit more as well."
Australia opener David Warner, another hard hitting batsman who today spruiked Maxwell's ability as a Test player, says he too was heavily influenced by Sehwag early in his career.
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Like Maxwell, Warner played with Sehwag at the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and it was the Indian who convinced the left-hander he could transform himself from a Twenty20 slogger with no first-class experience into a Test player.
"When I went to Delhi (in 2009), Sehwag watched me a couple of times and said to me, 'You'll be a better Test cricketer than what you will be a Twenty20 player'," Warner recalled in 2011.
"I basically looked at him and said, 'Mate, I haven't even played a first-class game yet'.
"But he said, 'All the fielders are around the bat, if the ball is there in your zone you're still going to hit it. You're going to have ample opportunity to score runs'.
"(He) always says that the more balls that you see you're going to be tempted to try and score runs but you've just got to keep in the back of your mind what your zones are.
"If it's in his zone, he backs himself."