Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, long-awaited and much-anticipated, delivered a blitzkrieg century at the ICC World Cup 2023. The 35-year-old maestro unleashed a whirlwind innings, crafting the fastest-ever World Cup century in just 40 balls, a display of breathtaking strokeplay that left fans in awe.

This scintillating performance propelled Australia to a commanding total of 399 for 8 against the Netherlands at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday, firmly imprinting Maxwell’s name in the tournament’s annals.

Despite an unimposing run of scores (15, 3, 31*, 0) in previous matches, Maxwell’s demeanor did not betray a hint of pressure as he took center stage for this pivotal encounter. His last outing against Pakistan had invited scrutiny, particularly for his dismissal, as he was thrust into the pivotal No.3 slot after openers Mitchell Marsh and David Warner’s centuries. The strategy was explicit – to launch a ferocious assault from the get-go.

Criticism, notably from renowned Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, had cast a shadow on Maxwell’s approach. On the pre-match show on Star Sports, Gavaskar did not mince words, labeling the Australian all-rounder as ‘careless’, pointing to his shot selection.

“It’s a matter of ego. I think he was happy at RCB when he was given the No.3 slot. He felt he was important, he needed to make a contribution in every match. Here he is batting at 5, 6, and 7. In cricket, there is a thin line between carefree and careless. He has been on the careless side (in this World Cup) more. That first-ball dismissal against Pakistan, what kind of a shot was that? So clearly, (he was) careless and not carefree,” Gavaskar expressed.


Little could Gavaskar have foreseen the seismic shift in Maxwell’s performance that would unfold just hours later. Maxwell strode onto the field during the 39th over, just after Australia lost the wicket of Josh Inglish. Yet, the formidable partnership between David Warner and Steve Smith had already charted Australia’s course to dominance, with the score at 266/4 and 11 overs still to be played.

Maxwell’s symphony of destruction concluded at an astonishing 106 off a mere 44 balls, punctuated by eight towering sixes and nine crisply struck boundaries. “Probably just cleared my head a bit to just go out and play. The situation when Davey and Greeny got out, I had to take it deep a little bit. Patty was good as well. Even if they are banging it into the wicket, I feel I have enough time to go after it. And when they are bowling quick, my hands have to be faster. Just generally try to get it over the infield,” Maxwell eloquently reflected after the monumental feat.

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