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The vintage BBL exercise that enabled Maxwell to perform a miraculous feat against Afghanistan


Due in part to his back spasms and severe cramps in his lower body, Glenn Maxwell’s almost unbelievable double-century against Afghanistan in Mumbai is regarded as the greatest ODI knock of all time. Despite this, he led Australia to victory with a total of 21 fours and 10 sixes, mostly using his upper body strength and arms.

Maxwell credited his ability to hit some huge boundaries to a pre-match batting drill he used to rehearse in the Big Bash League almost eighteen years ago.

“One of the things I used to work on before every BBL game – going back about eight or nine years – was foot drills where the first 12 balls I’d face I’d stay dead still but try and hit them as far as I could,” he stated on the Club Prairie Podcast. “I basically had to hold my upper body for as long as I could to get the perfect trajectory and feel like I got a six, regardless of the length. Your perfect heave point can really be found by working on that upper-body action without utilizing your legs. Regarding those [innings against Afghanistan], it’s evident that I had to make a few adjustments to the way that bowlers actually delivered the ball—not just half-volleies outside off stump, but also in different spots. Simply depending on the material I had previously worked on and making every effort to adjust as soon as possible.”

“I think it has a lot to do with the positions I get myself in on a golf course where I’m stuck behind a tree and I have to throw my wrists around or flick it around,” Maxwell remarked in response to a question about what helped him prepare for such unconventional shots. It’s the little things in life. It seems to allow you to be creative and push the envelope.”

During the podcast, Maxwell disclosed that his calf muscles were experiencing the most severe cramps. He also mentioned that his right foot’s middle toe was “starting to bend back” at one point, which he attributed to the back spasms and his “body starting to shut down”.

Maxwell was treated by the team physiotherapist after he collapsed on the ground due to cramps shortly after finishing a single. The physiotherapist warned that Maxwell’s condition would deteriorate off the field as his body would cool down, making it difficult to descend the lengthy staircase from the Wankhede Stadium. The batter “couldn’t control my breathing,” so the physiotherapist suggested Maxwell to slow down and continue batting. He was also instructed to drink more water.

Finding the gaps in all corners of the ground, regardless of the line and length of the ball and the bowlers, is one of Maxwell’s signature skills. He demonstrated this not only against Afghanistan but also during his record-breaking 40-ball century against the Netherlands and earlier in white-ball cricket history.

“Once I get in, I feel like I can set myself early enough in my mind and have a good idea of where I’m trying to hit it,” Maxwell said. “I feel like my hands can get me out of trouble if the ball is not quite in that areas and do I give myself a few options for different lengths.”

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