As if Rising Supergiants Pune’s owner Sanjiv Goenka’s controversial announcement of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s sacking as the Captain of the Pune-based franchise wasn’t enough, the Kings XI Punjab’s management, back on the 10th March announced that Murali Vijay would no more lead the KXIP and that Maxwell was their new Captain. This didn’t exactly stir up a controversy like Pune’s announcement did, as M Vijay is neither a good Captain nor as celebrated a Cricketer as MS Dhoni. What raised a few eye-brows was the appointment of Glenn Maxwell as the new Captain of the Punjab-based captaincy.
Punjab fans were somewhat apprehensive about their latest Captain, as Maxwell has never had any experience as a skipper of any Team at any level. Their apprehension was, thus, justified and natural. However, any apprehension or scepticism has sort of waned away after the way Punjab and their newly appointed skipper have fared in the first couple of games. Maxwell, known as the big show, has been a fabulous limited-overs Cricketer and has been an important part of Australia’s plans. With this exciting batting and relentless big-hitting prowess, Maxwell can turn any game on its head all on his own, in a matter of couple of overs.
He easily is one of the best strikers of the Cricket ball. However, his leadership quality was obviously unknown and IPL might just have unearthed a jewel as far as Captainship is concerned. In fact, Maxwell also shot to fame as a batsman because of the IPL, after Mumbai Indians picked him up for the first time back in 2013.
Coming back to Maxwell’s captainship, he’s displayed every quality a good leader must possess. He has remained calm, has been composed and has lifted the spirits of the Team when the chips have been down. There’s a sense of responsibility in everything he has done so far – be with giving his bowlers pep talks, or be it setting fields in between or be it keeping the opposition guessing with aggressive field settings. He hasn’t been overly expressive but hasn’t been emotionless either. He has maintained an optimum balance in whatever he has done as the leader of the Team. He has been reassuringly composed whenever the opposition has got going – remember how he maintained steady pressure from one side even as ABD was going berserk the other day. He had a strategy for every player – the way he setup Vishnu Vinod was a treat to watch.
The hallmark of Maxwell’s captaincy, though, has been his remarkable ability to control the game. At no point has he let the game drift completely out of control. As a batsman, too, he has looked reassuringly composed and has made the opposition bowling lineups look flimsy. It’s still early days and too early to take a call, but the way Maxwell has gone by, we feel he will metamorphose into a tremendous leader.
We are sure Cricket Australia is watching with their eyes wide open!