Sports Editor Oscar Frost reports on the arrival of Glenn Maxwell to Birmingham, who will join the Bears’ squad for the rest of the season
After Royal Challengers Bangalore were beaten in the IPL, Glenn Maxwell has arrived in Birmingham, according to Edgbaston. The Australian arrived on Monday night, and is ready to go for the Bears in the Vitality Blast.
Maxwell is set to make his Birmingham debut against Leicester on Friday night, before coming to Edbaston for the first time on Monday.
Maxwell is an exciting addition to the Bears’s squad, having scored 400 runs in this year’s IPL. To make this even more impressive, he did this with a strike rate of 183.
“I love playing in the Blast,” commented Maxwell ahead of Friday’s game. “The Blast is right up there in terms of excitement, passion and competition.”
Maxwell previously played in the Lancashire squad in the blast, scoring 305 runs in his ten games.
Also in the Lancashire squad was current Bears’ vice-captain Alex Davies. Danny Lamb was also part of the squad, meaning there are some familiar faces for the Australian at the Bears this season.
Maxwell’s return, however, puts the season of Paul Stirling in jeopardy, as he was brought in to cover for Maxwell. Stirling scored ten in Birmingham’s victory over Yorkshire last week, which would be somewhat of a sour note to end on for the Scotsman.
If Stirling is out of the side, there will be a gap at the top of the order that I would be surprised if Maxwell will fill.
The most probable outcome, for me, is that Alex Davies will step up to open for the Bears, and Maxwell will slot in around number four or five. If this is the case, the Bears will have a very deep batting lineup, with Chris Benjamin, Maxwell and Chris Woakes as a backup to their top order should they lose their wickets early.
Stirling’s future also depends on the availability of Hasan Ali, who was unavailable for the match against Yorkshire. If Ali remains injured, Stirling will be able to remain in the side without going over the two allotted overseas players allowed in the Vitality Blast.
Nevertheless, the addition of Maxwell will bolster a Bears side that has already proven itself to be in with a chance of getting to finals day this year.
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