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Glenn Maxwell at centre of massive Ricky Ponting call after World Cup heroics

The 35-year-old Aussie's astonishing innings continues to be the talk of the cricket world.

Pictured left to right, Australia cricket legend Ricky Ponting and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
Australia's coach has compared superstar all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (R) to cricket legend Ricky Ponting. Pic: Getty

Glenn Maxwell has been paid the ultimate compliment after his extraordinary innings at the ODI World Cup, with Australia coach Andrew McDonald comparing the 35-year-old to cricket legend, Ricky Ponting. Maxwell's match-winning unbeaten 128-ball 201 against Afghanistan in Mumbai has been described by many as the greatest innings in World Cup history.

McDonald admits the magnitude of Maxwell's feat still hasn't fully sunk in but said his star all-rounder's remarkable stroke play reminded him of Ponting - the man widely regarded as Australia's second greatest batter after Sir Donald Bradman. Ponting won three World Cups with the Aussies and two as captain, with his 140 not out in the 2003 final against India one of the all-time great Aussie knocks.

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Much like Ponting did in his prime, Maxwell has re-invented the art of batting and challenged established norms with stroke play of pure ingenuity and audacity. Speaking ahead of his side's final World Cup group game against Bangladesh, Australia's coach said Maxwell's incredible batting display was already having a massive influence on the next generation of cricketers.

"I had some text messages from some friends that went to cricket training that night (of Maxwell's innings) and the night after, back home and what were they playing? Reverse sweep, scoops... It's probably a little bit of a nightmare with developing players for the coaches, but you've got to encourage it," McDonald said. "I think the players take the game forward every day and the game is better today than it was yesterday and Glenn Maxwell will no doubt inspire a new generation with some outrageous shots - and they'll take it even further than he has.

"And that's the beauty about this game, the limits are endless. He's stretched the boundaries as did AB de Villiers, as did Ricky Ponting in their time as well. So it's exciting to see where the game may head.

"He sees the game differently. Some of the options that he takes, the work that he's put in, even some of the things he does in the field, he does differently and it never ceases to amaze." Aussie skipper aptain Pat Cummins, who finished 12 not out off 68 balls in the record-breaking 202-run stand with Maxwell described it as "the greatest ODI innings ever".

Seen here, Glenn Maxwell during his record-breaking ODI World Cup knock.
Glenn Maxwell made the highest score by an Australian man in ODI World Cup history. Image: Getty

Glenn Maxwell's funny admission about record innings

Maxwell admitted the improbability of the task facing the Aussies ultimately helped spur him on to the record-breaking heroics. The Aussies found themselves reeling at 7-91 when Maxwell was joined by his skipper Pat Cummins at the crease, chasing an unlikely 293 runs for victory.

The all-rounder admitted that at the start of his record stand with Cummins - the biggest-ever eighth-wicket partnership at an ODI World Cup - he didn't think it was possible to chase down Afghanistan's target. The 35-year-old - batting on one leg after severe cramps - said he was joking about the scenario with his skipper and the relaxed mood played a huge part in his astonishing innings.

“When I was shuffling between wickets and looking up at the change rooms, I just see them all laughing at the same time as well,” Maxwell said on BBC’s ‘No Balls: The Cricket Podcast’.

“It sort of took the sting out of it as well. I didn’t feel like there was added pressure or anything like that, so I wasn’t sort of badly, like ‘We could almost pull off a miraculous win’. It was just like, ‘This would be so funny if we got this done’.

“And I’m waddling between overs and ever single was funny. That was just it. It took the sting out of any sort of pressure of the game... There was a wide at one stage and I sort of went down, laughed.

“I went down (and said), ‘Don’t worry we’ll get these in extras’. They’re giving us runs, no worries. And then I think the scoreboard flashed up that they were four overs behind, and Pat Cummins goes, ‘Oh they’re four overs down. Don’t worry we’ll get them in the last four overs when they’ve got an extra fielder inside the ring’.

“We took the mickey so much out of each other out there. Not ‘took the mickey’, but we had a smile on our face the whole time and we just tried to keep it as chilled out and as laid back as we possibly could. We didn’t really talk about winning until we got down to maybe the last 10 overs.”

with AAP

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