Glenn Maxwell’s astounding double century during the World Cup match against Afghanistan has sent shockwaves through the cricketing world. Renowned figures in the sport are hailing it as the greatest One Day International (ODI) innings of all time.
In a spellbinding exhibition of skill and resolve, Maxwell blazed an unbeaten 201 runs off just 128 balls, single-handedly steering Australia to an improbable three-wicket victory and securing their spot in the tournament’s semi-finals.
Maxwell described the experience, saying, “It was great fun. It just felt like it was me and Patty (Cummins) having a blast out there.” He emphasized the camaraderie between him and Captain Cummins, revealing that they lightened the mood with humor. “We kept each other pretty calm with jokes most of the time,” he added.
The extraordinary partnership between Maxwell and Cummins emerged in dire circumstances when they united with Australia struggling at 91 for seven. Cummins, with a composed demeanor, reassured Maxwell by saying, “Don’t worry, they’re four overs down, they’re going to have an extra fielder in for the last four overs.”
Maxwell’s historic double century not only made him the first Australian to achieve such a milestone in ODIs but also established him as the first player globally to achieve a double century during an ODI chase. Cummins, awestruck by Maxwell’s heroics, proclaimed, “It was the greatest ODI innings.” This sentiment was echoed by cricketing luminaries, including former England captain Michael Vaughan and Australia’s master-blaster Adam Gilchrist.
Irfan Pathan, a former India all-rounder and cricket analyst, went a step further, branding Maxwell’s performance as the “best ever white-ball inning” on social media.
Maxwell’s path to this historic innings was fraught with drama and determination. He battled severe cramps and a back spasm when he was on 147, raising concerns for his well-being. There was even talk of retiring from his innings and returning, but medical staff warned that descending the stairs to return to the crease might prove impossible. Maxwell chose to soldier on, relying on his reflexes and hand-eye coordination to execute powerful shots. He remarked, “So that probably made the job a bit more straightforward. It wasn’t all just chaotic swinging, but there was some planning to it.”
The 35-year-old Melbourne native’s remarkable World Cup performance showcased his exceptional abilities and resilience. After recovering from an ankle injury, he played a pivotal role as an all-rounder, excelling as a bowler and showcasing his explosive batting prowess.
As the tournament progresses, Australia will face Bangladesh in Pune on Saturday for their final group stage match. Maxwell, who humorously attributed all the drama to his family’s presence in India, expressed his relief at reaching the semi-finals, saying, “It’s been a weird, weird couple of weeks… To be in the semi-finals is a great feeling. Hopefully, we enjoy a few days in Pune. I’ll stay away from the golf carts.”
Maxwell’s historic innings will undoubtedly be etched in the annals of ODI cricket history as one of the most extraordinary moments, leaving fans and experts in awe of his exceptional talent and determination.