Australian star Glenn Maxwell says he apologized to India’s KL Rahul during Friday’s opening ODI, having fired with the bat after a dismal Indian Premier League campaign.

Maxwell smashed 45 runs from 19 balls at the SCG, a powerful knock featuring three sixes and a strike rate of 236.84.

The innings helped Australia to victory and must have left Indian wicketkeeper Rahul bemused behind the stumps, after he captained Maxwell in the IPL

Maxwell was a $2.2 million signing for Kings XI Punjab in this year’s IPL, yet managed just 108 runs at 15.42 from 11 innings. He did not hit a single six and even scored slowly by his standards, with a 101.88 strike rate well below his IPL career average of 154.67.

Maxwell’s highest score was 32 and his form became so disappointing that he was dropped from the side for the final game, despite his marquee price tag. Punjab finished sixth on the IPL table, winning just six of 14 games to miss the finals.

Yet Maxwell wasn’t alone. New Zealand star Jimmy Neesham was also axed by Punjab amid a poor IPL stint and also starred in an international match on Friday, hitting 48 not out against West Indies at Eden Park.

A Twitter user deemed their exploits meme-worthy and both Neesham and Maxwell were happy to play along. ‘Maxi’ reckons he even said sorry to Rahul

Kings XI Punjab’s official Twitter account jumped in on the banter, though Rahul has yet to respond

Maxwell copped a blow for his IPL efforts before the ODI match, with Indian legend Virender Sehwag branding him a $2.2 million “cheerleader” who took a “highly-paid vacation” during the tournament.

Maxwell told reporters post-match: “Viru is pretty outspoken with his dislike of me and that’s fine. He is allowed to say whatever he likes – he is in the media for such statements. That’s fine. I deal with that and move on and take it with a grain of salt with Sehwag.”

Australia and India will face off in the second ODI at the SCG on Sunday, with Maxwell – a floating No.7 in the Aussie order – aiming to continue his hot form

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