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Maxwell hopes for bowling show at World Cup

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Australia's Glenn Maxwell kisses his helmet after scoring a century (100 runs) during the first T20 international cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on September 6, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

SOUTHAMPTON: The bowling side of Glenn Maxwell’s status as an all-rounder is often forgotten amid the fireworks of his power hitting but the mercurial Australian hopes his off-spin can tie a few batsmen in knots at the World Cup.

Although used sparingly during Australia’s 2015 triumph on the pace-friendly pitches of home, Maxwell chipped in with six handy wickets to go with his 324 runs in a fine all-round tournament.

Spin is expected to play a far bigger role in England, particularly with warm weather forecast for the early summer, so Maxwell can see himself playing a bigger role behind specialist spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa.

At England’s compact cricket grounds, that will mean avoiding getting “hit for six most of the time,” Maxwell said at training in Southampton.

“For me I suppose, a lot of the time that I bowl, I just try to limit the boundary balls,” he added. “As long as I’m doing that, if they hit some good shots off my bowling I’m not too fazed.

“If I’m limiting the boundary balls and giving myself the best chance to squeeze a few dot balls, bowl a couple of tight overs, it might create a bit of pressure at the other end.”

Maxwell bowled plenty of overs in the UAE against Pakistan and away to India in recent months as Aaron Finch’s side claimed confidence-building series victories.

He gave up the chance of a rich Indian Premier League deal to warm up for the World Cup with England county side Lancashire.

In six one-day matches with Lancashire, he managed a top score of only 35 with the bat but took wickets in every game bar one.

“To have that continue into my time at Lancashire, where I got plenty of time at the bowling crease, you get that rhythm, you get that feel of the ball coming out consistently,” he said.

“You need that as a part-time bowler, to have that consistency of time at the crease and get a few of the cobwebs out, I suppose.”