“If someone gets a big score or has a day out with the ball, someone like Sandeep [Lamichhane] gets a bunch of wickets up top, it can win you a game single-handedly.”
“Big game players stand up in these games, and I feel like we’ve got enough of those in our team.”
Maxwell’s claim is backed by his own single-handed demolition of the Sydney Sixers on Sunday to drag his side into the finals.
The 30-year-old exploded at the end of the Stars’ innings, facing 23 of the last 24 balls and scoring 65 runs to finish unbeaten on 82 as his side posted 6-168.
“I think as a leader it certainly was [my most important knock], at a time when our team needed an innings of substance and needed something to get us to a total that we could defend,” Maxwell said.
“I was able to control the tempo of the game and wrestle back some momentum at a time when we needed it.”
Maxwell said he has relished the greater opportunity to dictate the tempo of games as captain.
“I like to be in control of the game,» he said. «I think that’s why being captain has been really good for me, I’ve been able to control the game, control the speed and control the guys out there as well. They’ve been really receptive to everything I’ve asked of them.”
The increased length of the BBL season has polarised cricket fans, but it has afforded the Stars access to all of their key players during finals unlike previous editions.
“In previous years we’ve probably lost our core players towards the back end and then the finals, so we’ve had to rely on our bottom six I suppose in the contract list to get us through,” Maxwell said.
“We’ve had the mid-season interruption with the ODIs and we lost all three games during that stage, but we were able to turn it around.”
The Stars’ bowling attack were humiliated by the Brisbane Heat only two days before the victory over the Sixers, conceding 158 runs in 10 wicketless overs, but Maxwell said the group were confident heading into the semi-final.
“It was one of those games where everything that could go wrong did, and the fact that we had a 48-hour turnaround between games was perfect for us, it meant we could just drop it and move on,” he said.
“It wasn’t ideal up in Brisbane but I really loved the way our bowlers went about turning that around quickly.
“Coming back to our home ground in familiar conditions, big square boundaries and a slow wicket, was perfect timing for our bowling attack.”