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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: The Indian Premier League (IPL) fans and franchises have always put their confidence and money on Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. But the enigmatic cricketer has so far failed to deliver as per their expectations.

The dangerous player has so far featured in four franchises across eight sessions of the mega tournament but his performances have been sporadic and he has failed miserably to get back the returns for the investment on him.

The poor past record of the aggressive player notwithstanding, Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bought him for a whopping Rs 14.25 crore after a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the recently concluded auction.

Now, the million dollar question is whether it made sense to splurge such a huge amount of money on him. Kings XI Punjab (Renamed Punjab Kings) had discarded him after an indifferent form in the last edition of the mage tournament. The right-handed batsman had scored just 108 runs in 13 games with a poor average of 15.42 and the team ended in the sixth position.

Maxwell has so far played two sessions for Delhi Daredevils, five sessions for Punjab and one year for Mumbai Indians. But he has never proved himself as a match winner since last eight sessions.

Maxwell has failed miserably to translate his immense talent into performances so far in the cash-rich league.

On the contrary, he had turned as a nemesis for India during their last Australia tour. He had played a major role In Australia’s 2-1 ODI series win over the visitors. His three crucial innings was instrumental to help the hosts clinch the series. His performance was also brilliant in the T20 series that followed.

Maxwell had also performed well in the last Big Bash League. He had amassed a total of 379 runs from 14 games with an average of 31.58 with three half centuries.

The star-studded RCB are still searching for the elusive first IPL title. Maxwell perfectly fits the bill for them as they are desperately in need of an impactful player apart from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. RCB are hopeful that the Aussie will tear apart the opposition's bowling attack in tandem with De Villiers. The team management is also expecting the role of a finisher from the lower middle order batsman.

The utility of Maxwell as a flexible 360 degree batsman, right-arm off break bowler and a gun fielder is never in doubt. His incredible performance on different occasions has fetched him riches in the auction. Think tanks of the teams tend to think that this day or the next he will deliver.

However, according to the experts, the pressure of expectation has taken a heavy toll on him. "Apart from a good player, he is also a human being and the pressure of expectations is taking the better of him. It is also one of the main reasons for his inconsistency," said a former cricketer.

With the forthcoming IPL 2021 to be played in May (tentative), RCB seems hopeful that the talented big gun will finally fire for them. And if happens, no one could stop Virat's RCB from lifting the trophy this year.

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