Cramps, spasms and 201* as Maxwell reveals truth behind superb World Cup knock
Maxwell produced one of the best ODI innings of all-time against the Asian side in Mumbai as he became Australia’s first double-century maker in men's 50-over cricket when smashing an unbeaten 201* from just 128 deliveries to help the five-time World Cup champions pull off an amazing victory and book their place in the knockout stages of the tournament.
But the record-breaking knock almost didn't eventuate, with Maxwell revealing after the match just how close he was to retiring during his innings as he battled cramps in his calf, shin, hamstring and toes and was further hampered when he picked up a back spasm.
"It was certainly in our discussions," Maxwell told reporters after Australia recovered from 91/7 to clinch a three-wicket victory.
"We talked about coming off, trying to get some work into my back and trying to loosen up my legs a little bit.
"Jonesy (Australia physio Nick Jones) said it would be really hard to come back out down the stairs after that so probably made the job a little bit more simple and then we came up with let's just stay at the same end for as long as we can until you sort of feel like you can at least walk at the other end or if there's an easy single here and there.
"For a while if I can get one or two boundaries from one end it didn't really matter what happened at the other end because we got it to around a run and ball at that stage. There was a certain planning, it wasn't all just chaotic swinging but there was a bit of planning to it."
Lack of mobility wasn't much of a issue for Maxwell, who dealt mainly in boundaries with his trademark 'stand and deliver approach' as the Australia all-rounder combined with skipper Pat Cummins (12*) for a 202-run partnership that iced the contest in sensational style.
Maxwell paid tribute to the contribution he received from Cummins, who held up an end with aplomb and also made sure he never got ahead of himself and the difficult equation that was required.
"I think when Patty was pretty calm, I think when it got to about maybe 60 or 70 (runs required), I thought two more, maybe half decent overs of around 15 and It's right in the balance,” Maxwell said.
"We knew Rashid (Khan) had about 18 balls left and that it was going to happen in the last 13 overs or something like that. So, as long as we sort of kept him out of game, I felt like I could hit boundaries off the others.
"I was sort of more about negating him, not letting him have a shot at the rest of the tail because he's obviously world class.
“He can hit you on the pad and he can beat you both sides of the bat. So, I just felt like if we could negate him and keep him out of the back end of the game, we'd be all right."
The remarkable innings caps off an eventful couple of months for Maxwell, who welcomed his first baby into his life alongside partner Vini in September and missed Australia's World Cup match against England on the weekend following an innocuous incident while playing golf.
"It's been weird, weird couple of weeks, weeks but I extremely grateful to be able to get back out here and make the semis,” Maxwell added.
“I think after the first two games we were pretty close to written off by most people and to be able to get string six wins together at the right time and we didn't have our best stuff tonight against a pretty spirited opposition so to be in the semis is great.”