MELBOURNE: The ODI series in their bag, Australian big-hitter Glenn Maxwell today said the hosts are "desperate" to achieve a 5-0 whitewash against India and a 3-0 clean sweep of the subsequent T20 series.
Maxwell hit 96 runs to guide his side to an unassailable 3-0 lead after the visitors set them a target of 296. He had walked in when Australia were six-down at one stage, but along with James Faulkner held his nerve until the end.
"I was pretty calm at that stage. When Faulkner came out I was hoping he'd score a bit more and I'd be able to sit at the other end and run with him," said Maxwell after the three-wicket victory.
"But he said he was just going to play normally so I said I'm going to take it on and take the pressure off. It worked the opposite to the way I wanted it to. But it worked out really well because I was able to target bowlers because they had a different field to me and they had a pretty standard field to him. It was a tough wicket to start on so it made me easier for me to improvise and hit it over the infield."
When asked if he was looking ahead to the World T20, on account of his IPL experience, and the Australian batting's superiority, he replied, "You have to concentrate on the series you're in. It'd be naive of us to look too far ahead. We do talk about it off the field and say that we're looking forward to going over there and getting ready but you're not mentally preparing for it already."
"You've got to build up to. There are a few games before that here against India that we're looking forward to. But first up we have to win this series 5-0 which is something we're desperate to do and then hopefully we can win the T20s 3-0," Maxwell said.
With one run needed for the win, he was on 96 not out and had to go for a big stroke with the fielders coming in. Maxwell instead holed out.
"I just wanted to hit it. Didn't care where it went, I just wanted to hit it over the infield if it went for one, two, eight, four. I was just trying to hit it," he said.
Talking about Australia's third successive victory chasing against India, the Man of the Match said, "I still remember the 400 chase in Johannesburg and it was 10-15 years ahead of its time. It's amazing the way our team has been playing and the way we've been approaching those chase. I don't think many teams are doing it like we are at the moment, as comfortably as it looks. To do it three times in a row is pretty phenomenal and probably shows why we're No.1 in the world.
"It's a backing from the coach to play with everything on the line and it doesn't matter if you die trying, as long as you give it a crack. That's what we've been brought up to do and we've been doing it really well this series."