Glenn Maxwell has struggled at this World Cup.
Glenn Maxwell has struggled at this World Cup.

World Cup legend’s short ball fears for Maxi

Usman Khawaja has more often been the maligned figure in the spotlight this tournament, but an Australian World Cup great has turned the blowtorch on X-factor Glenn Maxwell. one run) in the only two games he has entered at perilous stages following top-order collapses.

"They're going to bounce him, and they're going to bounce him quite a bit," Symonds told the Herald Sun.

"He's got to find a way to evade it or play it or duck and weave or get it down to third man or something.

"That's what he's going to get from now on in. They're going to test him out upstairs."

Maxwell skied a catch after pulling Windies quick Sheldon Cottrell last month, leaving Australia 4/38, and then mistimed a pull shot against Jimmy Neesham, leaving the Aussies 5/92 against the Kiwis on Saturday.

"I hit the ball in the middle of the bat, and then hit one on the toe-end," Maxwell said of the Kiwis dismissal. 

"I was in position too early. I've never get out like that before - I'm not too worried.

"If I was getting beaten repeatedly I'd be a bit more worried. But I've been hitting the middle of the bat repeatedly so a big one isn't far way.

"I feel like I haven't hit the ball better in my career, I just haven't got runs."

 

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While teammate Usman Khawaja' apparent weakness against bouncers has been spoken about, Symonds is the first to shine the spotlight on Maxwell.

"The way he just tried to take it on, that's not helping him and it's not helping the team," Symonds, who will join the Fox Cricket panel for Australia-South Africa on Saturday night, said.

Andrew Symonds celebrates after his career-defining century against Pakistan in 2003. Picture: AP
Andrew Symonds celebrates after his career-defining century against Pakistan in 2003. Picture: AP

"It's definitely a bit of a problem for him. He's not as convincing as I'd like to see playing the short ball. He's just got to blunt the attack by ignoring it.

"A bumper is an effort ball for a bowler and if he's not playing at it, especially early in his innings, a dot ball is a dot ball and he'll catch up.

"For him he just needs a simple method. Some blokes can't duck, some blokes can't weave but he's got to come up with a method." 

Symonds, who set up the 2003 World Cup with an unbeaten 143 (125) in the first game and then 91 (118) in the semi-final, was speaking from experience.

"I had the same thing - they used to try and bomb me, especially early in my innings before I got going," he said.

"Maxi's not the first and he won't be the last, but if you don't deal with it well then it becomes a problem in your own head.

Jimmy Neesham takes a return catch after Glenn Maxwell mistimes a pull shot. Picture: Getty
Jimmy Neesham takes a return catch after Glenn Maxwell mistimes a pull shot. Picture: Getty

"Then he's thinking, 'Oh is this going to be the short one?' instead of watching the ball. You nearly premeditate rather than play the ball on merit.

"I wasn't a great hooker or puller so it was a ball they could use against me that could be a dot ball, but that's OK.

"We don't mind dot balls. A Maxwell will catch up. If he bats for 60 balls he's going to be 70-plus runs.

"If he's got 25 dot balls to his name that's not really going to effect the way he plays an innings."

Symonds will join the Fox Cricket panel LIVE for Australia vs South Africa on Saturday night from 9.30pm AEST on Foxtel