Glenn Maxwell’s release by Team Punjab was one of the biggest news on January 20, Thursday, when all Indian T20 League teams announced their list of retained players ahead of the mini-auction next month.
The Australian all-rounder, who has been around in the Indian T20 League for eight years, was bought by Punjab ahead of the 2020 edition of the tournament for a whopping Rs. 10.75 crores. But his returns of 108 runs in 13 runs did not justify the price tag.
However, Maxwell can’t be ruled out as an expendable in any way. After the Indian T20 League concluded in November last year, he was Australia’s star in the ODI and T20I series against India.
After his scores of 45, 63*, and 59 helped Australia to win the three-match ODI series against India 2-1, Maxwell hit a half-century in the T20I series as well. Maxwell hasn't been a waste in IPL as well, with five half-centuries to his name.
Hence, the Aussie all-rounder will not be short of suitors come the Indian T20 League auction in February.
With Team Bangalore going for a team revamp in the Indian T20 League for the umpteenth time, Virat Kohli might want to have someone of Maxwell’s calibre down the batting order. Having released the likes of Moeen Ali, Aaron Finch and Chris Morris from last season’s squad, Bangalore lack enough players who have the grit to turn matches. With his atypical hitting prowess, Maxwell could be a hit on the lesser turning tracks of India. The all-rounder also brings quick-thinking and lighting-speed movements on the field, a cricketing acumen that Kohli admires. With Maxwell’s price tag also expected to drop this auction, Bangalore has every reason to go for him.
Last season’s finalist, Delhi are on a hunt for a finisher to plug the few remaining loopholes in their squad. With Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, and Nicholas Pooran their only consistent players in the previous edition, the think-tank would want steady hands to get the job done in the end. Unlike Punjab, Delhi boasts of a potent bowling attack that has hardly leaked runs of late. Coming late to keep the run-rate ticking is something Maxwell excels in, and he could turn out to be a revelation in Delhi. Furthermore, Delhi head coach Ricky Ponting would also know how to get the best out of his compatriot.
After retaining some of the world’s best T20 stars in Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer, Rajasthan are left with a good Rs. 34.85 crores in their purse. While Steve Smith’s release wasn’t surprising after the former Australian skipper was a liability for the team last season, handing the captaincy to Sanju Samson was. Team Rajasthan now has the challenge of providing the perfect balance to their squad and Maxwell could very well provide that. Using Stokes and Buttler up the batting order leaves place for someone like Maxwell in the middle who could form a deadly finishing duo with Archer for Rajasthan.
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ David Gray