Home » ‘Whenever I’m going to sleep’: Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan still has nightmares about Glenn Maxwell’s Mumbai miracle

‘Whenever I’m going to sleep’: Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan still has nightmares about Glenn Maxwell’s Mumbai miracle

‘Whenever I’m going to sleep’: Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan still has nightmares about Glenn Maxwell’s Mumbai miracle

“At night, whenever I’m going to sleep, sometimes I do think about that game.”

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan still has nightmares about last year’s World Cup contest against Australia at Wankhede Stadium – also known as Glenn Maxwell’s Mumbai miracle.

Australia was reeling at 7-91 in pursuit of a 292-run target before the Victorian smacked a record-breaking 201* from 128 balls to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, combining with captain Pat Cummins for an unbeaten 202-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

“It just comes in the mind. Sometimes when I think about that game, my body just changes,” Khan said during a recent interview with the ICC, twitching in his seat.

“That was an unbelievable knock, one of the best innings we have ever seen.”

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Afghanistan has never defeated Australia in any format after five encounters, with Maxwell featuring in each of them, including his ODI debut in 2012. The 35-year-old averages 174.50 with a strike rate of 169.41 against Afghanistan, including two fifties and his unforgettable double-century in Mumbai.

The two nations will lock horns yet again in a must-win T20 World Cup Super Eight contest at Saint Vincent’s Arnos Vale Ground on Sunday morning AEST – if Afghanistan loses, their campaign is almost certainly over.

And with a spot in the semi-finals on the line, Maxwell will be itching to produce another nightmare-inducing performance with the willow.

“Hopefully there’s a few mental scars from the opposition’s side,” Maxwell declared while speaking to ESPN’s Around The Wicket this week.

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell celebrates after winning the World Cup match against Afghanistan. Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFPSource: AFP

Spin bowlers have wreaked havoc at the Kingstown venue throughout the ongoing T20 World Cup, with deliveries turning between five to seven degrees off the middle of the surface, according to Australian selector George Bailey.

“It feels like every ground has its different little idiosyncrasies,” Maxwell told reporters following Friday’s rain-affected victory over Bangladesh.

“It feels like you’re going to a completely different part of the world every ground you go to.”

Afghanistan will unleash a trio of world-class spinners for the Super Eight clash against Australia, with Big Bash League stars Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Noor Ahmad expected to create headaches on the bowler-friendly deck.

Maxwell, considered one of the country’s best batters in spinning conditions, therefore looms as a crucial figure for Australia ahead of Sunday’s match, while his crafty off-spin could also come in handy.

“I probably enjoy it when it’s a bit tough,” Maxwell said this week, as reported by cricket.com.au.

“I think your skill can shine through on those tougher wickets. It’s not as easy as swinging through the line all the time. You’ve got to be smart and pretty adaptive to what’s in front of you.

“I think that sort of batting is so valuable in these conditions. The difference sometimes between 110 and 135 in some of those kinds of conditions. I feel like that’s where I can have my biggest impact.”

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Maxwell’s form came under the microscope heading into the tournament – the right-hander registered 52 runs at 5.77 for the the Royal Challengers Bengaluru during the recent Indian Premier League, during which he requested for himself to be dropped from the starting XI because he “wasn’t contributing in a positive way”.

But after starting his T20 World Cup campaign with a golden duck against Oman, Maxwell began rediscovering his momentum during wins against England and Bangladesh, scoring 28 and 14* respectively.

“It was nice to get out there and hit a couple,” Maxwell continued.

“I’ve felt pretty good throughout the entire tournament. I probably just haven’t quite nailed the starts.

“Tonight I just went in with the really clear mindset to be a little bit more proactive and a bit more trusting in my foundations.

“When I’m just looking at gaps in the field and adapting to what comes in front of me, I can get into my innings relatively comfortably.

“I think over the past few games I’ve been a little bit tentative, just been trying to poke one into the gap.

“At this stage in tournaments, I think I’ve just gone back to what I do really well and hopefully that holds me in good stead.”

Australia currently sits atop the Super Eight group’s standings, but a loss to Afghanistan would leave Mitchell Marsh’s men relying on other results to qualify for the semi-finals.

The Super Eight match between Australia and Afghanistan gets underway on Sunday 10.30am AEST.