As far as international cricketers go, few are as closely aligned to rock stars as Glenn Maxwell.
He is one of the most dynamic and entertaining players to grace the international stage.
After his whirlwind T20 145 from 65 balls, he could be considered one of the world’s greatest performers.
For all his star quality, I don’t see Maxwell as the front man. He is, in fact, the lead guitarist. After the openers have established the tempo and Steve Smith’s bat has delivered compelling lyrical wonder, the scene is set for ‘The Big Show’ to cut loose as only one of the greatest axe men can.
Confidence to burn and unbelievably fast hands, Maxwell can be mesmerising. He is the Ritchie Blackmore of Australian cricket. Some of his best work will be remembered long after the smoke has cleared and the audience has left the arena.
In fact, his lead solos are worth the price of admission alone. His inclusion in the team for the third Test had many fans anticipating another electrifying onslaught.
The stage was set. It was his time. Standing in the spotlight, with every eye upon him, he began to play.
We waited for his screaming guitar solo, anticipating for him to spectacularly announce his arrival and make us forget that anybody else was there. This time, however, he didn’t do that.
For the first time, ever, he never rushed to steal the attention. He just played. It was as though he heard Smith’s song and accompanied him, providing the melody for Smith to sing to.
With his captain in great voice, could it be that Maxwell didn’t need to shine? Perhaps, so he just played. Every now and then, Maxwell freed his hands and magic poured forth, but just for a moment, then he withdrew once more allowing his captain’s brightness to shine.
For hours, he delivered this beautiful arrangement, ebbing and flowing in perfect harmony with Smith. When Glenn finally put down his instrument, we had experienced something very special.
No Smoke on the Water, no Street of Dreams. No powerful rock anthem for us to head bang along to.
Instead, Maxwell’s accompaniment had provided us all with a ‘Concerto in A(sia) minor’. It was beautiful, transcending anything he had achieved before.
Well played Maestro! Well played! Encore!