The Roar
The Roar


Why does everyone wanna knock 'The Big Show'?

Glenn 'Rocks and Diamonds' Maxwell will always bring the surprises. (AAP Image/Mark Dadswell)
Roar Pro
5th February, 2014

Fresh from a summer of cricket and cricket commentary, many Roar readers would be familiar with the same old cricket cliches which are rolled out time after time.

Among my most hated of these phrases are: “He threw his wicket away”, “He went out playing a dumb shot” and “He should be more watchful”.

All three miss the point of batting. Batsmen are there to make runs.

Going out playing a shot should not be considered a crime; batting for four hours and making thirty runs should be.

The reason I bring this up is all the Glenn Maxwell bashing I hear. Everyone keeps telling me he goes out in ridiculous ways. They’re probably right.

But why does that matter?

Statistically Maxwell’s an international standard player. In ODIs his batting average is 35 at a strike rate of 125.

That’s the same average as Adam Gilchrist, but his strike rate was “only” 90.


Add in the fact Maxwell is one of the best fielders in the world and a viable part-time spinner and you have a player who is surely good enough to get a game in the national 50-over and 20-over teams.

But people don’t judge Maxwell rationally. They judge him on his style. Players who take the game on and suffer the consequences must be genuinely world class, like Gilchrist was, or the public lashes them.

Maxwell is not the only one to be judged harshly for playing an aggressive game. Others include Andrew Symonds, Mark Waugh and David Warner (perhaps by coincidence, all showed immense talent in the field as well).

Each of them have displayed the ability to do just about anything with the bat, and also a tendency to go out softly.

This has frustrated many a fan. Yet statistically, Symonds, Waugh and Warner are or were fine batsmen.

All average about 40 in both Test and One Day cricket except for Warner, who averages 30 in ODIs. Obviously others have average more but those averages indicate they were solid international cricketers.

Their aggression also helped their partners ease into their innings without the pressure of needing to score, and made the bowlers worry about where to put the ball.


People tend not think about that though. They prefer to comment on how Mark Waugh’s Test average could have been higher, or how they don’t trust Warner to open the batting.

Of the three Symonds is the most similar to Maxwell. Waugh and Warner were clearly always specialist batsmen. Early in his career Symonds was very much a batting all-rounder. Maxwell is in the same category now.

Maybe in a few years Maxwell will learn to harness his immense talent, maintain his attacking instinct and refine his shot selection, much like Symonds did.

I, for one, think he has the talent to one day play as a batsman in Test cricket if he’s managed properly.

Yes, Maxwell throws his wicket away and yes, at times, he plays some awfully dumb shots.

But at least he’s taking the game to the opposition and when he does get going, he changes games. If you don’t like these kinds of batsmen I suggest you’d find great pleasure in watching Joe Root.