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Harsh Kalan in Pune 11 May 2013 - 11:00pm IST

Amazing to play with Sachin, Ponting: Maxwell

MI all-rounder cherishes being part of a star-studded set-up

The Mumbai Indians moved a step closer to Play-Off qualification after they overcame the Pune Warriors India at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. The other big story of this match was the much-anticipated franchise debut of MI’s Million-Dollar Man, Glenn Maxwell.

The Australian all-rounder finally got an opportunity in a crucial match, in which he played the finisher’s role with the bat, after bowling a solitary, and economical, over during the PWI innings.

Maxwell’s cameos – both with bat and ball – exuded the kind of confidence that had eluded him during Australia’s forgettable Test tour of India a couple of months ago.

During his exclusive chat with IPLT20.com, the 24-year-old cited spending the better part of this year in the subcontinent as the reason behind his improved showing in his first IPL 2013 outing. He also talked about what it meant for him to be part of a set-up that includes some of cricket’s biggest names.

Here are excerpts from his exclusive interview:

How does it feel to make your MI debut?

A lot better, now that we have won (laughs). I have been waiting a really long time; I have been training hard in the nets and in the gym. So, I feel it was well-deserved and I am glad I got a crack out there and it was fun.

Were there any special preparations ahead of your maiden cap for MI?

No, Not really. Every game, I try and treat the same.

When did you come to know that you were going to play?

I actually found out before we had lunch today. I was a little bit wary because when I was told that, I was not sure (laughs). Yes, but my name was read out at the toss, and that is when I knew for sure I was going to play.

You bowled a tidy over in the middle. Can we expect you to roll your arm more often in the games to come?

At the moment with our team, I am just there to bowl if we need an extra bowler. So far we have been so good with our five regular bowlers that we don’t need an extra bowler. I am just there if we need an extra over in case there are a few left-handers or if we just need someone to bowl an over to help out in the middle of the innings.

Given that you batted confidently, are the memories of the India-Australia Test series (that the former won 4-0) distant now?

Yes, they are pretty distant. Also, considering it is the white ball now, I am just trying to forget about the Test series. But I am sure those memories are anyway not going to help me. However, I am extremely proud that I made my Test debut against India in India. It was an amazing achievement for me personally, even though we did not win. And I did take with me a lot of that experience into the IPL.

You have spent the better part of 2013 in India. Has that helped you get a leg up on the conditions on offer here?

Exactly right. You get a leg up over everyone else by spending time here. I feel like I have had a lot of time for preparation, and I have played a lot here and trained a lot here. I feel these things are going to help me a lot in the future.There are a lot of tournaments in India throughout the year. So, you have got to adapt to playing here. It is a massive advantage to get used to the conditions over here.

What is it like to be part of a star-studded set-up as MI, where you have the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting?

It is an amazing feeling to be around them. Guys like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, whom I have watched while growing up over the last 16-17 years on TV. It is just amazing that I got the chance to actually play with them and be part of a winning team with them. I just want to make the most of this time, and hopefully this will last a long time, as I am loving being here with the Mumbai Indians.

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