Kevin Pietersen, in the wake of Glenn Maxwell’s sustained run of horror in the Indian Premier League, has stated that Punjab need to take a call on Maxwell and do it before it gets too late. Pietersen minced no words and came down hard on Maxwell, who has scored just 48 runs in 6 IPL 2020 games.
Despite Glenn Maxwell’s mediocre returns in the IPL since the start of the 2015 season, there was considerable buzz surrounding the Australian prior to IPL 2020, due to the sublime form he had shown in national colours. Prior to IPL 2020, Maxwell was named the Man of the Series versus England and so, thanks to the Victorian’s indomitable form, there was hope that the Maxwell of 2014 would re-emerge once again, particularly with the tournament taking place in UAE.
However, unfortunately, this season, too, it was the post-2015 Maxwell that turned up in the IPL, and the 31-year-old, in each of the first five games of the season, failed to score over 15 runs. Things went from bad to worse for the right-hander on Thursday, after he was run-out for a 12-ball 7, and with Maxwell eating up an overseas slot, there have been cries for Punjab to do away with the all-rounder.
Kevin Pietersen, a former teammate of Maxwell at Melbourne Stars, weighed in on the issue and left no stone unturned. The former English batsman ripped Maxwell to shreds in his assessment of the Australian and claimed that the 31-year-old simply cannot keep hogging a foreign slot without giving back anything to the side.
“These guys (KXIP) will have to get something out of Maxwell. You cannot keep an overseas player’s spot like this. Glenn Maxwell hasn’t scored at all in this IPL,” Pietersen told host broadcaster Star.
“Rahul hasn’t got the support from his overseas players. Yes, Pooran scored runs today, but one player is Maxwell. Maxwell either has to be sidelined or he gets just one more opportunity.
“I am going to (have a) go at Maxwell here because he hasn’t delivered. He is a big, big player for that franchise. If he is not part of the process, then you have to bring somebody else in.”
That ‘somebody else’ who can replace Maxwell, many believe, could be the Universe Boss Chirs Gayle and Kings XI coach Anil Kumble, mid-way through the game, even revealed that the big Jamaican was in line to play the SRH game before he picked up a bug. Pietersen, however, raised doubts as to where Gayle will fit into the side, given he cannot bat in the middle-order and given Rahul and Agarwal have a great partnership going up top.
“And Gayle, Anil Kumble said he would have played but he had a bit of an upset tummy. So he is going to have to produce some magic but where is he going to bat? I don’t think he can bat at No. 3 or No. 4 because of his running between the wicket.”
Kings XI Punjab's NRR took a pounding due to their 69-run defeat on Thursday and with just one win from six matches, they are currently bottom of the IPL 2020 table.