Kings XI Punjab is a day away from starting their Indian Premier League 2020 campaign against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Sunday and fans and experts alike are wondering if KXIP’s new captain KL Rahul is capable of dealing with the pressure that comes with leadership.
However, the team’s swashbuckling Australian all-rounder is in no doubt that the Indian wicket-keeper batsman is a perfect fit for the role.
“He is an amazing talent and I love watching him play. He is an extremely talented top-order batter who can play every shot in the book and seems to have so much of time even against the quickest of bowlers. Against spin also he is very damaging,” he told Cricket Australia’s website.
“I think he is going to be a very good leader for us. He has some great experiences that will hold him in good and he is someone I will be looking forward to bouncing some good ideas off and certainly help him out whenever possible.”
While Kings XI has been perennial underachievers in the cash-rich league with no titles to count, questions have also been raised on keeping a 40-year-old Chris Gayle in the side. The destructive opener has been assets for many franchises and West Indies for years but at this age, his power-hitting has come into question.
However, Maxwell came to defend his KXIP teammate saying age is no barrier for the Jamaican.
“Age hasn’t been much of a barrier for him, he still hits the ball miles. I think as long as his bat holds up, he will do just fine. He still hits the ball out of the park and he is so dangerous. Whenever he is on the field, the opposition is always nervous,” he said.
Maxwell, who earlier took a sabbatical from cricket due to mental health reasons, further said KXIP has a complete side for the season as he feels names like Mohammad Shami and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will excel.
“I think we have got some really good balance in the bowling department, Mohammad Shami is an absolute world-class performer and we got three spinners with Mujeeb as well and power hitting of Gayle and Rahul upfront. I would hope to contribute in the middle which makes us a complete side in this year’s IPL,” he concluded.