Maxwell can be a Kohli, says Langer


Glenn Maxwell currently averages under 33 in ODIs, but Australia coach Justin Langer feels he could get closer to Virat Kohli’s numbers if he utilises his talent.

Maxwell has promised a lot, although the performances haven’t always been consistent. But the signs have been getting better in the recent past. In the last two ODIs against Pakistan, Maxwell has scored 71 and 98 to help his side recover from mildly worrying situations to win both games.

With the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 looming, Langer was pleased to see a talent like Maxwell bloom at a great time. The coach lauded Maxwell for his hard work and the energy he brings to the side.

“He’s put a lot of emphasis into his practice,” Langer said on the eve of the fifth ODI against Pakistan. “He is practising with real purpose and he’s getting the rewards for that, so it’s great to see. He’s such an important part of the team. He brings energy to everything he does, whether it’s fielding, running between the wickets, or strike-rate – he just brings such great energy.”

Kohli, who averages 59.57 in ODI cricket, has become the gold standard of modern-day batting in the format, and Langer felt Maxwell can get close to that level of performance. Maxwell’s current average doesn’t fully reflect his potential. He has been guilty of squandering starts in the past, and that has hurt his numbers.

“The challenge for him is, and I’ve said this to him, we’ve just seen Virat Kohli, who is an extraordinarily talented player – he averages 60 in ODI cricket. He is a great player,” Langer said.

“At the moment, in 99 games, Maxi averages 32 or 33. He can be Virat Kohli. He has got the talent to do that. The way he played [during] that T20 hundred in India, the way he played both T20s – we know he’s a great T20 player.

“His next challenge is to become a great ODI player, and then potentially a Test player. So there’s huge upside for him, and while he keeps practicing with the purpose he’s got and winning games of cricket like he is, it’s great to have him.”