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Glenn Maxwell doubtful for Bangladesh clash after double-century heroics

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Glenn Maxwell is still feeling the effects of his stunning ICC World Cup 2023 double-century against Afghanistan and could now miss Australia’s final group match against Bangladesh in Pune on Saturday.

Australia will also look at calling up fast bowler Sean Abbott in a bid to rest one of their frontline pace trio, given captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have featured in all eight matches so far in the tournament.

The Bangladesh game is a ‘dead’ fixture for Australia, given they have already qualified for the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2023 after Maxwell’s astounding innings ensured they defeated Afghanistan by three wickets, having collapsed to 91-7 chasing 292, in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Five-time champions Australia are now set to play South Africa in a Kolkata semi-final on Thursday, having won six games in a row after starting the tournament with two defeats.

“He’s definitely been in full recovery mode the last few days,” Australia assistant coach Daniel Vettori said of Glenn Maxwell.

“We all saw the effects of the innings and in particular the heat, so I think today (Friday) is a big day,” the former New Zealand captain added.

“Obviously, we’ve had a couple of days off, so there’s been no training. He’s not here today but we’ll just see how he feels as the day continues.”

Glenn Maxwell, while completing his 147th run, suffered severe cramps in both legs and then underwent a back spasm as he collapsed to the turf at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Yet despite being barely able to move in his crease, Glenn Maxwell still went on to make 201 not out from 128 balls.

The 35-year-old all-rounder struck 21 fours and secured both victory and his double century with a tenth six.

Australia are set to leave a decision on whether to play Maxwell against Bangladesh until shortly before the game, with star batsman Steve Smith set to be recalled following a bout of vertigo.

If Glenn Maxwell is omitted and Smith included, that would spare Australia’s selectors from deciding if they had to drop either batsman Marnus Labuschagne or all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.

Meanwhile, Vettori said the 31-year-old Abbott had a chance of a World Cup debut.

“To try to get those three fast bowlers (Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood) through nine games and in a short period of time, we always presumed that would be a tough challenge,” said Vettori.

“So Sean was always in the picture as a potential replacement for one of them…It’s just weighing up how everyone’s come through these last few days.”

Although little rests on the outcome of Saturday’s match, Vettori added Australia were still keen to leapfrog South Africa into second place in the standings.

“I think the home dressing room at (Kolkata’s) Eden Gardens is better than the away one, so we want second place so we can get in that dressing room,” he said.

READ: Rachin Ravindra named ICC Men’s Player of the Month for October 2023

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