When Mahendra Singh Dhoni compares his batting skills to Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, it's really serious business. Glenn Maxwell is breaking almost every rule in the cricket grammar book as he continues to treat the best of bowlers with utter disdain in this year's Indian Premier League.
Quality bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ben Hilfenhaus were at the receiving end in Cuttack on Wednesday night as Maxwell made merry in another emphatic demonstration of power batting. Kings XI Punjab rode a 38-ball 90 by the Aussie as they coasted to their biggest ever -- 44-run -- win against former champions Chennai Super Kings.
Maxwell has turned heads in this year's competition. After being ignored by Mumbai Indians, who paid a million dollars last season but went without noteworthy returns, Maxwell has been on fire this year for Kings XI. The top three innings in the present competition have been played by Maxwell -- 95 versus Chennai at Abu Dhabi on April 18, 95 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad at Sharjah on April 22 and Wednesday evening's 90 vs Chennai on a featherbed Barabati Stadium track.
The 25-year-old Victorian is smashing records in every game. Maxwell posted his fourth fifty in IPL 2014. He is the second batsman after Chennai's Dwayne Smith to accomplish the feat in the current competition. Maxwell is the first batsman to register three scores in the 90s in the same edition of an IPL. He is the only batsman to post three scores in the 'Nervous Nineties' in the IPL.
Maxwell is the first batsman to complete 400 runs in IPL 2014 -- 435 (ave.62.14) in seven innings. Maxwell's tally of 27 sixes is the highest by any batsman this season, obliterating Smith's 24 for Chennai. Maxwell is the only batsman to record a strike rate of 200-plus in IPL 2014. He is has an amazing strike-rate of 203.27 that has enabled Kings XI Punjab to climb to the top of the standings with six wins from seven matches and all of 12 points.
On Wednesday, Maxwell became the first player to be adjudged the Man of the Match four times in the present competition. "I go out to enjoy myself and we (him and David Miller) love batting together, we talk about it a lot and it was fun to have a big partnership together and hit a few out of the park," said Maxwell after he collected the Man-of-the-Match award in Cuttack.
Maxwell, who is the leading scorer in IPL 7, did not seem too perturbed for missing a century for the third time. He was just happy to be winning games for his side: "It is nice to be on the winning side; all our plans are working as of now and it is good to be on top of the table."
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)