AA Edit | Mad Max’s incredible double

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Edit

An incredible innings by the Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the very ultimate in beating the odds

Glenn Maxwell. (File Photo:AFP)

Achieving the goal of winning in sport is considered greater when attained in the face of adversity. In life as in sport, it is the degree of hardships faced that lend victory a special aura. By any yardstick, what was witnessed in an incredible innings by the Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the very ultimate in beating the odds.

Having fallen off a golf cart just days before, the Victorian was hobbled by the heat, humidity, and polluted air of Mumbai. His body wracked by cramps and his captain ready to send him off for medical attention, Maxwell stayed on grittily to produce a master class of statuesque proportions, belting the Afghanistan bowlers around as if he were taking golf swings, making tennis strokes or baseball hits.

Reduced to 91 for 7 and forlorn against a target of 292 never chased down at the Wankhade Stadium, Maxwell may have played the greatest innings in 52 years of ODI history to carry Australia into the semi-finals of the World Cup. It may have been a charmed existence early on at the crease and he sportingly acknowledged he had the good fortune to be dropped and survived thanks to marginal DRS reviews after being given out.

The scale of his achievement in the first ever double century in an ODI chase was akin to comic book heroes bringing off impossible deeds, maybe like Batman performing here with Robin for company in his skipper Pat Cummins who achieved defensive perfection in making a dozen runs off 68 balls while his partner thumped 21 fours and 10 sixes in 128 balls in a scarcely believable knock that hauled the team out from the jaws of defeat to a surreal win.

Kapil Dev’s 175* from the depths of 9 for 4 and 17 for 5 in fabled Tunbridge Wells in 1983 was the gold standard in such innings by an individual making up for all his colleagues’ failures while bordering on the miraculous in World Cups. The one difference was that Maxwell had to do it in the chase, like climbing Mount Everest on a cramping body, leaden feet and oxygen running out. But that is “Mad Max” for you, attuned to attempting the impossible.