It's a big positive: Glenn Maxwell on Rohit Sharma's absence from Australia series
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell feels opener Sharma's absence from white-ball series Down Under is a big boost for hosts; praises KXIP teammate Mohd Shami's skills
India's prolific run-scorer Rohit Sharma's absence during the upcoming ODI and T20I series against Australia will be a big boost for the host team, reckons Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
And in the context of India's bowling attack, Maxwell rates his IPL teammate and Kings XI Punjab speedster Mohammed Shami highly.
"He [Rohit] is a class performer, so consistent as an opening batsman with a couple of double hundreds. So, anytime he's not in the line-up against you, it's a positive," Maxwell told mid-day from Sydney on Friday, during a virtual media interaction organised by the series' official broadcasters Sony.
Australia's Glenn Maxwell
Rohit, who has 29 ODI and four T20I centuries under his belt, is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and has only been named in Test squad.
'KL Rahul good too'
Maxwell feels his KXIP captain KL Rahul is an equally good opening batsman. "India still has back-ups [in Rohit's absence], more than capable of playing that role. We saw KL Rahul, the performance that he put on during the IPL was extraordinary. Whether he opens the batting or not, I'm sure he'll be just as good a player," added Maxwell.
The three-match ODI series begins on November 27 in Sydney, while the T20I series begins in Canberra on December 4. And though Maxwell, 32, admired Rahul and Mayank Agarwal for their performances as openers for KXIP, he warned them to be ready for the testing times Down Under. "They [Rahul and Mayank] have a good equation and played extremely well for Kings XI. But I suppose, ODI cricket might be a bit different [from T20s], and hopefully with our bowling attack, we can put some pressure on them and with bounce in the pitches and bigger grounds as well, they play into our hands," said Maxwell, who has scored 4672 runs in 177 matches in white-ball cricket matches.
Speaking of the Indian bowling department, Maxwell hailed Shami's ability to effectively use both the new as well as the old ball. "A guy like Shami, whom I have played with in the recent IPL and previously too, I've seen the skill that he has. He stands the same, bowls upright, and gives the ball a chance to swing. He has got good skills in the end and he's a very good performer, his skill with the new ball and his ability to get the ball moving on pitches will be key for them. India are a world-class batting and bowling line-up. We have got the ability to match them in both those areas. It is going to be an exciting series to see two teams on top of their game, going against each other," added Maxwell.
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