The cricketing world has heaped praise on Australia star batter Glenn Maxwell for producing the “greatest” One-Day International (ODI) innings of all time after he scored 201 runs off 128 balls and led his side to the knockout stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Afghanistan were on the receiving end of Maxwell’s exploits at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. The batter’s historic achievement came just as Afghanistan removed seven Australian batters for only 91 runs and were on the verge of breaking through to become one of the top four teams in the cricket tournament.
The Australians had all but lost their recognised batsmen when Maxwell blew the Afghan attack apart by smashing 21 fours and 10 sixes. He has become Australia’s first male double centurion in the 50-over format and the first-ever batter to score a 200 during a chase in the shorter format.
Maxwell’s ability to effortlessly clear boundaries was never in doubt, especially with his unconventional choice of shots like reverse sweeps and pulls. But the cricket community was caught off guard by the right-hand batter’s performance on the field this time, especially because he was battling cramps and was unable to take singles.
Maxwell’s determination to keep going and lead Australia to a three-wicket victory despite being given a chance to return to the pavilion when he was barely able to stand has earned him praise from several quarters of the cricketing world on social media.
Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir reacted to Maxwell’s feat with one choice adjective: “Un-freakin-believable.”
Australian captain Pat Cummins was there on the pitch with Maxwell and had scored 12 off 68 balls.
“We’re just chatting about it, all the players and we’ve decided it’s one of those days where you just go, I was there in the stadium the day Glenn Maxwell chased down that total by himself,” said Cummins after his colleague’s historic knock.
Australia’s former cricketing star Ricky Ponting, who was in the commentary box during Maxwell’s knock, said he found it hard to describe the batter’s achievement.
“It is hard to put into words,” Ponting said on the ICC show Digital Daily.
“Tonight is something we are going to be talking about for a very long time. What an innings like that can do around a team, is that it can create unbelievable belief that you can win from anywhere.”
“Only a 360 player like Glenn Maxwell can pull off an inning like that after being 7 down for less than three digits!” remarked former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan, who was also known for his explosive batting.
A lot of excited fans also “saluted” Maxwell.
Ex-India cricketer VVS Laxman pointed out that Maxwell taught everyone to “never give up”.
Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist heaped praise on Maxwell. “He has always been the most exciting player in the world to watch in my opinion,” Gilchrist said.
“The greatest ODI innings of all time,” wrote former England cricketer Michael Vaughan.
“Best ever white ball inning!” exclaimed former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Irfan Pathan.
An “overwhelmed” Maxwell responded to the congratulatory messages.
“Pretty overwhelmed with all the Thank you so much to everyone that has sent messages. @patcummins30 was amazing out there! Sorry I knocked back a couple. Time to get back to dad duties.”
India, South Africa, and Australia have all qualified for the semi-final, and there is only one spot left open.
New Zealand, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, with eight points each, are all now gunning for the opening.
One last group game remains to be played for all the teams.