|| AFP ||
Big-hitting Australian Glenn Maxwell has spoken of finding a "nice little rhythm" in the T20 game as he powers Royal Challengers Bangalore's late charge for the Indian Premier League title.
Three straight defeats have given way to three straight wins and Maxwell has helped Bangalore into the playoffs with games to spare for the first time in a decade, scoring three half-centuries in a row.
The all-rounder hit a 33-ball 57 on Sunday against Punjab Kings as the side scored a six-run win in Sharjah.
"I just suppose in T20 cricket I have found a nice little rhythm," Maxwell said. "Batting at four, sometimes it's not the easiest position to bat, but the openers gave us an ideal set-up and took a bit of time to understand the wicket."
The 32-year-old took everyone by surprise when the Virat Kohli-led Bangalore signed him for $1.95 million this year after spells with Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals.
But Kohli says the Australian import has taken to the team like a "duck to water".
Dubbed the "Big Show", the power-hitter has been Bangalore's leading scorer with 407 runs while batting at number four. Other T20 teams previously tended to play him down the order.
"This is something I have had with Australia for a long period of time, this is perhaps why I have had success over there," said Maxwell.
Bangalore, who have never won the IPL title, go into the last four with Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals. The fourth team is still to be decided.
With two matches to play Kohli says his side could still finish in the top two, which would give an advantage in the playoffs.
"That should give us motivation to play even more fearlessly," said Kohli, looking to win a title in his last campaign as team captain.