Team needs to play with freedom to win World Cup: Maxwell

Melbourne: As Australia gear up to defend the World Cup title, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell believes that the team needs to play with freedom to clinch the coveted trophy.

The 28-year-old said that during their successful 2015 World Cup campaign, a lot of players took “big risks” but they did it with so much conviction that not even at one point did the team feel that something could go wrong.

“The way we went about one-day cricket in 2015, it was just solid the whole way through. There were big risks, but they didn’t feel like risks when they were happening. Aaron Finch charging opening bowlers and hitting them over the top for four, and you thought, ‘that’s not a risk for Aaron Finch.

David Warner hitting over cover-point for four – that’s not a risk. Steve Smith hitting the ball from outside off through forward square leg – that’s not a risk. That’s just how the players were playing,” quoted Maxwell, as saying.

“Shane Watson muscling blokes wherever he wanted to, and myself doing my thing, the way the whole team set itself up, guys just played their way and played with freedom, and I think if we’re going to win this World Cup then we need to be able to play with freedom … and hopefully the bowlers can back us up the way they did in 2015,” he added.

Talking about his demotion to number seven in the batting order, Maxwell said that his shift is “pretty valid” as he has not performed well enough to warrant a place in the top order. He further admitted that he did not make most of the opportunities that were given to him to cement his place in the top order.

“The way that we’re setting up (as a batting unit), I don’t think I’m wasted. The way we were trying to set up our team, it was pretty valid. I hadn’t done enough to warrant a place in the top four or five, and I missed my opportunities,” quoted Maxwell, as saying.

“That comes down to me as a player. I genuinely missed my opportunities to play well for my country and play well for my spot. They gave me two opportunities to bat second drop before the England ODI series and unfortunately I didn’t make the most of it, and I found myself back down the order. That can be how the game goes sometimes,” he added.

Glenn Maxwell was named as T20 Player of the Year award at the Australian Cricket Awards in Melbourne on Monday. The right-hand batsman received the honour for the second time, having won it in 2015.
The 2019 cricket World Cup is slated to be held from May 30 to July 14 in England.