IPL in UAE: Kings XI Punjab relishing the arrival of the Glenn Maxwell show

Dubai: Kings XI Punjab will be looking forward to a typical ‘Maxi Show’ like the one witnessed in Manchester from Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell in the first ODI between England and Australia on Friday.

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Maxwell, who turns 31 next month, put up a tremendous exhibition of power hitting as Australia trooped off winners in the first ODI against England at the Old Trafford. And now KXIP will be rubbing their hands as the Australian arrives in the UAE for IPL 13 after the series with England finishes.

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Maxwell began his cricket as a pace bowler, before remodelling his run-up and becoming an off-spin bowler. He also has a deceptively powerful and accurate throw to effect run-outs pushing his teammates and the media handing him the nickname ‘The Big Show’ due to his confidence and his tendency to play extravagant shots, especially a wide array and variations of sweep shots. He however prefers the nickname ‘Maxi’.

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Maxwell bludgeoned 77 off just 59 balls to help Australia recover from a precarious 123-5 after being sent into bat by home skipper Eoin Morgan.

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The Australian, who had taken a break last year to deal with mental health difficulties, was picked up by Kings XI Punjab for Dh5.375 million at the IPL auction last year.

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Late on Friday, the innovative Aussie hit four fours and four sixes in his whirlwind 59-ball, 77-run knock to power his team to a challenging 294-9 from their 50 overs.

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Maxwell, along with the other players coming to the IPL from the England-Australia limited-overs series, is likely to be available for selection for Punjab’s first match against the Delhi Capitals in Dubai on September 20.

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“Glenn plundered the Englishmen with some fiery stroke-play,” KXIP tweeted as the hosts crashed to a 19-run defeat against Australia despite Sam Billings’ maiden century.

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Maxwell became second most expensive buy at IPL auctions 2020; second only to his counterpart Pat Cummins. Incidentally, this will be Maxwell’s second stint with KXIP in the IPL after having already played by the same side from 2014 to 2017.

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Maxwell was first signed in the IPL by the Delhi Daredevils in 2012 as a replacement player for Travis Birt, who withdrew from the squad. He had a disappointing IPL in 2017, but then Kings XI Punjab director Virender Sehwag had then noted: “We always knew that when Maxwell fires, then he can win the match on his own. But he didn’t fire in most games. That is a big disappointment.”

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But this time, led by KL Rahul along with the swashbuckling Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Maxwell, and a new team management led by former India captain and coach Anil Kumble, the Kings XI Punjab look like a champion side.

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