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Maxi's turned himself into bowling threat too: Vettori

It may have been Glenn Maxwell's wonders with the bat which have illuminated this World Cup - but Australia fancy it's his less-heralded prowess with the ball that could prove just as critical as they enter the business end of the tournament.

While they'll wait until the morning of their final group match in Pune against Bangladesh on Saturday to decide whether to risk Maxwell for the fray after his hobbling double-century heroics against Afghanistan, Australia will definitely rely on his underrated off-spin in next week's semi-final with South Africa in Kolkata.

Australian spin coach Daniel Vettori, New Zealand's former star tweaker, is credited with helping Maxwell develop the wiles which have made him one of the most economical bowlers in the tournament - but the Kiwi is adamant it's all down to 'Maxi's' own unquenchable enthusiasm and dedication.

"I think you have to give Glenn most of that credit," Vettori told reporters in Pune on Friday.

Maxwell impresses Vettori
Australia's spin coach Daniel Vettori enthuses over Maxwell's keenness to improve his bowling.

"I think he's a very willing bowler and sometimes that can be the hardest part of being an allrounder, so that even though you do have the skills, the desire's not always there.

"Maxi, he loves bowling - and he loves the strategy that goes into it, probably like with his batting.

"You see a bowler that's evolved over the last few years. In particular, he's been able to start to bowl over the wicket to right-handers, which sort of went out of fashion for a period of time, and it's his ability to almost get near-topspin, to challenge the stumps the whole time from both round and over the wicket.

"Particularly in the powerplay, going over the wicket and being able to either skid it on or spin it back into the right-handed batsman, that's been his biggest improvement and meant that he can bowl at any stage of the innings.

"And even Patty [Pat Cummins] has the confidence to turn to him in the 46th or 47th over the other day to two right-handers.

"So, he's an extremely confident bowler because of all the work he puts in and how skilful and intelligent he is around his bowling."

Maxwell's importance to Australia can be seen in how he's bowled 52.3 overs for the team at the tournament.

He may only have taken five wickets in India at 52 apiece - but the key aspect of his contributions with the ball has been how he's conceding at just 4.95 runs per over, comfortably the most economical among all Australian bowlers, with Josh Hazlewood next best on 5.22 off his 68.1 overs.

In the whole tournament among bowlers who've played seven or more matches, Maxwell is ranked 11th best on economy rate.

When put alongside his 397 runs at 79.40, and scored at a tournament-best strike rate of 152.69, he's unarguably been the best allrounder over the past month, with Vettori and the Aussie coaching team hoping the brilliance can last one more week.