Glenn Maxwell has lifted the lid on a hilarious fake tantrum from Aussie skipper Pat Cummins in the wake of the pair's record partnership at the Cricket World Cup. Maxwell and Cummins shared in a record stand for an eighth-wicket partnership after combining for 202 runs in an extraordinary win over Afghanistan.
Maxwell finished the game unbeaten on 201 runs off just 128 balls to record the highest-ever ODI score by an Aussie men's batter. Cummins also made some unwanted history after taking a front-row seat to watch the 'Big Show' in full force, with the Aussie skipper facing a whopping 68 balls for his 12 runs in the partnership.
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In fairness, the Aussie skipper played his part perfectly after trying to get Maxwell on strike as much as possible and not throwing his wicket away needlessly while his teammate was on fire. However, it hasn't spared Cummins the inevitable ribbing from his teammates after the skipper set an an unwanted record by becoming the Australian with the lowest strike rate (17.64) after scoring more than 10 runs in an ODI match.
Pat Cummins’ 12* from 68 tonight was the lowest strike rate (17.64) for an Australian batter making 10 or more in men’s ODI history.
— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) November 7, 2023
Speaking before Australia's semi-final against South Africa on Thursday night (AEDT), Maxwell revealed that Cummins even took the mickey out of himself in the wake of Australia's victory after pretending to blow up about his strike rate in the locker rooms after the match.
“There’s plenty of banter being thrown around in the changeroom,” Maxwell recalled, before explaining how Cummins hilariously blew up about his strike rate being "cooked" after the innings.
“Pat sort of walked in and thrown his helmet on the ground and (he's) gone, ‘Can’t believe it. My strike rate’s cooked. Unbelievable. Jesus. I shouldn’t have knocked back all those singles.’
“Obviously we’re all taking the mickey out of. I’m getting the mickey taken out of for not being able to run properly, like a salmon on the ground shaking," Maxwell revealed about the severe cramps that left him batting on one leg during the record-breaking innings.
“It was just such a great feeling in the changeroom. It reminded me of the T20 World Cup in 2021, the same sort of feeling — energetic, electric, exciting and everyone felt like they were heading towards the same end goal. Who knows, it could be the same here.”
Aussie selection dilemma looms ahead of semi-final
Maxwell and Aussie paceman Mitchell Starc were both rested for Australia's final World Cup group stage game against Bangladesh as Cummins' men made it seven consecutive victories. The Aussie duo are certain to come back into the Aussie starting XI for the semi-final against South Africa, with Starc to come straight back in for Sean Abbott.
It leaves Aussies selections with a bit of a dilemma, with Australia cricket great Ricky Ponting arguing that all-rounder Marcus Stoinis should be dropped for Maxwell. Ponting revealed that Marnus Labuschagne was set to be dropped for the Afghanistan match until Steve Smith was ruled out.
Fellow Aussie great Shane Watson also argued that Labuschagne should keep his place in Australia's side after being solid with the bat and outstanding in the field for Cummins' men during the World Cup. Labuschagne has scored 286 runs at an average of 35.75 but has a modest strike rate of 77.08.
In comparison, Stoinis has struggled with the bat and ball, making just 87 runs at an average of 21.75 across five innings. While Stoinis' strike rate of 112.98 is much stronger than Labuschagne's, the all-rounder has only picked up four wickets in six matches at an average of 35.75 and an economy rate of 7.52.
The selection dilemma comes ahead of India's semi-final against New Zealand on Wednesday night, before the Aussies lock horns with South Africa the following evening for a spot in the World Cup final. Maxwell says confidence in the Aussie dressing room is sky high after seven straight wins.
“It’s pretty exciting for our group to have that belief,” Maxwell said. “We’ve got four different century makers in our line-up (Maxwell, David Warner, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh).
“Guys who you feel are primed, ready to go, on the cusp of doing something special. I just can’t see a better lead in for us. Hopefully we’re in a positive frame of mind to take them (South Africa) down.”
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