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Glenn Maxwell hoping to tap into ‘good friend’ Virat Kohli’s leadership qualities

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Maxwell is keen to team-up with Kohli at RCB

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Glenn Maxwell hoping to tap into ‘good friend’ Virat Kohli’s leadership qualities

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SportsCafe Desk

03/01/2021

Glenn Maxwell said that he is excited to be teaming up with Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore and asserted that he hopes to tap into the leadership qualities of the Indian skipper. Maxwell revealed that he and Kohli developed a bond through their stance with respect to mental health in sport.

Glenn Maxwell secured his dream IPL move - of playing alongside his idol AB de Villiers - last month when he was purchased by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise and, unsurprisingly, his move raised eyebrows as the Aussie was scooped up for a remarkable 14.25 crore. But, money aside, Maxwell will not only get to play alongside de Villiers but another modern-day great in the form of Virat Kohli. Thus far in his career, Maxwell has never teamed up with the Indian skipper and his stint with RCB next month will be the first instance of the Victorian all-rounder playing both alongside and under the aggressive Indian captain.

Speaking to reporters in Australia, the 32-year-old insisted that he was excited to play under Kohli and said that he hopes to tap into the RCB skipper’s leadership qualities.

"It's going to be next level. He's been the pinnacle of the game for a while as a multi-format player from Tests all the way to T20s,” Maxwell said of the opportunity of playing alongside Kohli, reported cricket.com.au.

"He's been able to adapt his game, dominate for a long period of time and deal with the Indian pressure of being their captain and their best player.

"I'm looking forward to watching him go about his work, not just in games but in training, and hopefully tapping into some of the leadership stuff and try and learn off him."

Recently, in a podcast featuring March Nicholas, Kohli spoke of his mental health struggles back in the day, and the Indian skipper historically has always been someone who has emphasized the need for boards to take care of the mental wellbeing of players. Few can relate to this better than Maxwell, who himself, 18 months ago, took considerable time off from the game to take care of his mental health. The 32-year-old revealed that, over the years, he’s formed a good bond with the Indian skipper and the duo are on the same wavelength on a host of things.

"He's been a solid backer of my stance. In a way he probably understood a lot of the things that I was going through ... a lot of expectation and pressure, which I'm sure he can relate to,” Maxwell said.

The remaining T20Is between Australia and New Zealand will be played behind closed doors, and it will come as a relief for Maxwell, who allegedly has been copping a fair bit of stick from the Kiwi crowd. The energetic all-rounder gave a peek into his exchanges with the crowd and revealed how it’s always good fun to engage in banter with the spectators.

"I was copping an absolute ribbing ... nothing too clever. All so predictable. I thought 'I've got to put a pin in this’. So I went over and I was like, 'Alright, calm it down. One at a time so I can understand.' I gave them all individually a chance to have a crack at me. And I was like, 'You? Yep, OK pretty good. OK, you, your turn. Yep not too bad'.

"I gave them all a chance to spray me instead on them just yelling random abuse. Then they started abusing me for being overrated and they started a chant. I got them to quieten down and then I told them 'I'm overpaid' and they erupted laughing. I was just trying to get them on side, trying to calm them down. It was getting to the point of rank abuse and I was trying to add a fun element."

The third T20I will be played at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on Wednesday, March 3. 

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