RCB’s Maxwell to take a break from IPL 2024 for mental and physical wellness

PTI, Apr 16, 2024, 10:31 AM IST

Royal Challengers Bengaluru all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has decided to take a “mental and physical” break from the Indian Premier League after going through a modest run in the tournament. Maxwell’s absence from RCB’s match against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Monday was initially attributed to a finger injury he suffered during the previous match against Mumbai Indians, but he later admitted that he has taken a break from the league.

“It was a pretty easy decision. I went to Faf and the coaches after the last game (vs Mumbai Indians) and said it was probably time we tried someone else (in his place). It’s actually a good time to give myself a bit of a mental and physical break, get my body right,” Maxwell said in the post-match press meet. “If I’m required to get in during the tournament, I can, hopefully, get back into a solid mental and physical space where I can make an impact,” he added. Maxwell was quite underwhelming with the bat in the six matches he has played this season, making just 32 runs at an average of 5.33 and a strike-rate of 94. In that 32, Maxwell scored 28 in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders alone, which was also helped to a great degree by two dropped catches. The 35-year-old agreed that he was not contributing enough to merit a place in RCB playing 11.

“I have been in this situation in the past where you can keep playing and get yourself deeper into a hole. We have had a pretty big deficiency after the power play, which has been my area of strength over the last couple of seasons. “I felt like I wasn’t contributing with the bat, and with the results and the position we find ourselves on the table, I think it’s a good time to give someone else an opportunity to show their wares, and hopefully, someone can make that spot their own,” a candid Maxwell said.

The big-hitting Australian, however, still hoped to return and make an impact in the latter stages of the tournament. “The management here has been outstanding. I don’t think I’ve had a better six months in cricket leading into this tournament.

“So, it’s frustrating when it ends up like this. But if I can get my body and my mind right, there’s no reason I can’t finish the tournament well if I do get another opportunity,” he said. The sudden dip in his form was surprising, considering the hot run he had in the run-up to the IPL. Maxwell had made 552 runs from 17 T20Is from November onwards, averaging 42 and his strike-rate was an impressive 185. But the Victorian started the IPL with a first-ball duck against Chennai Super Kings in an away match, and from that point his fortunes plummeted. “T20 cricket is a pretty fickle game. Even if you look at the first game, I ran one off the middle of the bat to the keeper. I picked up the length, saw a scoring opportunity, but opened the face a little bit too much.

“When you are going well, that goes wide of the (wicketkeeper’s) gloves, you get a boundary. You are 4 off 1, and you are away for the tournament,” he noted. Maxwell said luck was not on his side in this tournament. “I probably just haven’t got away. In the first few games, I feel I made reasonably good decisions (for shot selection). But I was finding ways to get out. “It can happen in T20 cricket and when it snowballs like that, you can go searching and try too hard and forget the basics of the game,” he said.

Maxwell has experienced a similar barren run in IPL 2020 while playing for Punjab Kings. During that season, the Australian scored a mere 108 runs from 11 matches and he failed to hit a single six in the whole tournament. However, Maxwell did not draw parallel between seasons 2020 and 2024. “I was bowling really well back then. I was actually playing more as a spinner. We had KL (Rahul) and Mayank (Agarwal) who were the two leading run-scorers at that time. “So, there weren’t a lot of balls left in the game (for him). I wasn’t able to get any match rhythm. So, I said the same thing to the Punjab management that we can have an overseas bowler in my place. “But we didn’t have an off-spinner, so, I sort of played as an overseas off-spinner who could bat a little bit,” he explained.

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