Maxwell boosts Australia as Netherlands take the match off

Maxwell's record, slowing down near 100s, and de Leede's bad day. Notes on England, Sri Lanka & Pakistan.

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What we had there was the Netherlands trying to keep themselves in the game for a long period of time, and then Glenn Maxwell going peak Glenn Maxwell. Unfortunately, the Netherlands decided not to come out to bat which meant this was the biggest victory in World Cup history. Not much to say about that side of the game.

Maxwell’s record (JK)

So with Glenn Maxwell, we saw in other innings he would slog at the top and he was getting too excited. Today, he played three beautiful drives on overpitched balls. These are proper cricket shots that he plays. But the last 5 overs is when things get a little bit different, right?

His first switch hit was one of those where he puts everything into it. His hands are everywhere, feet miles apart. An incredible shot. He then picked the slower ball and just absolutely slapped it away. He actually talked about this after the game of, making decisions based on the slow ball.

This is actually when I think I put something up on Discord saying he could make 100 here, and of course, I was saying it half in joke. Bas de Leede bowled a slower ball bouncer, actually a very good idea. He was a millisecond from bowling and Maxwell had only just slightly changed the bat in his hands. His feet hadn't actually changed at all. He needs to give a real clue to Bas de Leede that he is about to reverse-hook a slower ball bouncer.

This is a lot more normal. Just stays in the crease and whacks it over long on for six. We're used to that. How he manages to get a ball from so wide up and over from that position is remarkable. It's going to be a wide. His bat does all sorts of weird things and that ball just flies.

These next couple of deliveries are interesting because Bas de Leede actually gets into really full deliveries here. He digs the first one out with power in the air. And he digs the second one out with more power, also in the air. Long off is there, it almost goes through his hands. Then de Leede misses his length. That's what happens when you bowl two perfect balls and they both get smashed for four. Eventually, you lose your confidence and you start bowling worse balls.

Worth remembering that Bas de Leede is not a frontline bowler and Glenn Maxwell is now the holder of the fastest hundred in a World Cup ever.

David Warner, and slowing down for milestones (SAK)

I really liked how Warner took on Aryan Dutt in the 3rd over. He hit four consecutive cut shots, the last one was almost from the 4th stump. That’s the thing about top players, they constantly look to evolve their game. He didn’t necessarily have to attack the off-spinner in the powerplay, but he did. He deserves some credit for it.

Warner did seem to slow down a little for his hundred - he was 77 from 58 balls and he reached the milestone in 91 balls. We have seen the Indian batters get some flack with this, but he and Daryl Mitchell have one, and I am probably missing some others. Unlike T20, where players are really changing how they bat around the milestones.

Steve Smith made some runs today (SAK)

This was his 2nd fastest start in the powerplay ever when he made over 20 runs. His overall record in the Powerplay is 45/71, which is fine for a number 3 because teams don’t want to lose another wicket in this phase. But for someone as talented as Smith with the field up, it feels like a bit of a waste. He was decent in the middle overs too, though there was a period where he didn’t score a boundary for about 20 balls. But he really sped up after his half-century, his first in this tournament.

One thing worth noting is how often Logan van Beek got his line wrong. Logan is far too smart a cricketer to not know where to bowl to Smith, who is too good at manipulating the ball on the leg side. You cannot be too straight to him unless you have like seven fine legs.

Logan van Beek (SAK)

There is something else we noticed about him - just how much he changes where he is on the crease. I would love for him to be able to get slightly closer in, occasionally.  He set up Marsh, who tried to pull a ball way outside the off stump. So he took 4 wickets today, and he now has 8 wickets from 4 games in the WC. He is going for a lot of runs though - an economy of 6.34. He is a good death bowler in T20 cricket at times. He has a good yorker, but he tends to go for runs. He isn’t very quick either. A lot of his success comes from his intelligence.

Who misses out when Head comes back? (SAK)

We haven’t yet seen the best of Marnus’ hitting game, but today was a good sneak peek into what he could do when it’s his day. I think he realized he may have to miss out if Head is back the next game, so he went hard at it when Australia were already ahead in the game. Before today’s game, he had one of the lowest strike rates for any batter in this tournament.

When Head is back, does Mitch Marsh go in the middle order? But we also know that Marsh likes pace more than spin, so if he plays in the middle order he would have to face a lot more spin. And we talked about how much better his ODI record is as an opener than anywhere after his 100 against Pakistan.

Australia lose wickets in overs 31-40 (SAK)

I don’t know how much this means. They don’t have a fixed Miller, Buttler, or Hardik-type batter in their lower order. I think they kind of slog, rather than smart hitting like the others. We know the way Maxwell bats is a lot different from these other power hitters, and this is usually when the set top-order batters start to get out for Australia.

Roeloef van der Merwe fielding (SAK)

A quick shoutout to van der Merwe’s efforts in the field. He took a brilliant catch of Steve Smith at backward point just when Smith was looking to kick on after settling in. He had a move on after his half-century (21 off 14 after the milestone). But I want to point out how he lofted the ball above himself in an extremely passive-aggressive way.

That is because he almost had Warner too in the previous over, but it was a close call. When he dived he did a Mitchell Starc and put the ball on the ground. So two incredible efforts from the old fella.

But also, the Netherlands are fielding the arse out of this tournament. Not sure any other team has worked out how to dive as well on these surfaces. They have a few incredible athletes. But really it seems like effort and skill.

Bas de Leede has an off day (SAK)

Unfortunately, de Leede was on the end of two batters in spectacular nick today. Steve Smith absolutely took him on in the 23rd over of the innings. And then Glenn Maxwell. Well, he ensured that two World Cup records were broken - the fastest hundred & the most runs conceded in a World Cup match by a bowler. For some consolation, Rashid Khan conceded just 5 runs less while bowling 1 over less in the last edition. And Pathirana also sneaks into the list.

Worth remembering that de Leede is not a frontline bowler. He is a batter who bowls, very well. But it’s not his best skill right now. Getting your young all-rounder to bowl at the death has worked for them in the past. But he’s not the complete death bowler year. He can get good at getting wickets. And to be fair he started his last over well to Maxwell, who dug them out anyway.

England vs Madushanka (SAK)

England’s top-order batters have problems facing left-arm seam early in the innings, particularly Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. We saw what Marco Jansen did in the last game. Madushanka is among the top wicket-takers of this World Cup, and he’s dismissed some big names like Warner, Smith and Babar in the Powerplay. If Sri Lanka’s batting holds up at the Chinnaswamy against an out-of-form English bowling lineup, it could be tricky for their batting which has failed to chase twice in a row now.

Pakistan and reacting to failures (JK)

So Osman Samiuddin tweeted this earlier today.

I think the most predictable response to any failures in modern cricket is that a board will get former players to get involved. That should never be your first step, it should be one of two things, and probably both. What did we do to get here, good and bad? What did other teams do to get good? An independent analysis of what you did, is the best idea. Former players don't watch all the games, they aren't at training, they can't remember how many matches you scheduled. you will get old-man hot takes about how the players don't want it enough. And heads must role chat.