Maxwell tipped to shine
Australia finalising their World T20 preparations in the Middle East
Last Updated: 04/09/12 5:12pm
Glenn Maxwell: making an impact for Australia in limited-overs cricket
Australia captain George Bailey has tipped rookie all-rounder Glenn Maxwell to be a match-winner at the upcoming World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Maxwell is yet to make his Twenty20 debut but, after making his 50-over bow during the current limited-overs tour of the United Arab Emirates, has announced himself on the international stage in some style.
The 23-year-old's fearless heavy hitting saw him plunder an unbeaten 56, from 38 balls, in Monday night's decider against Pakistan to seal a 2-1 ODI series success.
Maxwell, who also bowls off-spin, was particularly brutal on mystery spinner Saeed Ajmal in the closing stages before sealing a three-wicket win with a straight six.
It left his team-mates rushing to congratulate him and his Twenty20 skipper Bailey singing the praises of a player he believes can play a crucial role over the coming month.
During that time Australia will finalise their World Twenty20 preparations with a three-match series against Pakistan, which begins in Dubai on Wednesday, before attempting to win their first world title in the shortest format.
"He (Maxwell) was someone (head coach) Mickey Arthur and I pushed really hard for just because of the x-factor and the versatility that he has," Bailey said.
"He's a beautiful ball striker. His fielding is as good as Davey Warner's.
"Twenty20 actually suits the way he bowls. He can be quite aggressive and hard for a batsmen to get into a rhythm. So he certainly gives us a lot of options."
Australia are set to freshen up their line-up for the Twenty20 series with vice captain Shane Watson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Clint McKay, Pat Cummins, Cameron White and veteran Brad Hogg joining the squad.
Left-armer Mitchell Starc, who was named man of the series after taking nine wickets in the ODIs, is likely to be rested to pave the way for changes.
"There'll be a nice injection of some energy and enthusiasm into the group," Bailey said.
"We'll try to find a settled line-up as quickly as possible, particularly with the batting.
"These will be really important games against Pakistan. Any momentum that we can get that we can take into Sri Lanka will be excellent."
Pakistan Test and ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq handed the Twenty20 reins over to Mohammad Hafeez with a warning his side must improve in all aspects following their 50-over woes.
"I think we have to improve in every department of the game, especially finding the right combination of fast bowlers - an area in which we are really struggling," Misbah said.
"Also, we have to improve our batting. At important stages of the game we collapse while batting.
"We have to improve because if you keep losing wickets in powerplays, that is only going in favour of the other team."