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The mindset of Cricket World Cup’s fastest century-maker

The mindset of Cricket World Cup’s fastest century-maker

Aiden Markram’s name will go down in history as the fastest-ever Cricket World Cup century, coming off 49 balls against Sri Lanka.

Markram’s brilliant effort was South Africa’s third century in their 428/5 total, the highest total ever scored at an ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, and the classy left-hander spoke afterward about the mindset that enabled him to achieve such a phenomenal feat in Delhi on Saturday.

“It was a strange one, I certainly didn’t wake up this morning thinking today would turn out that way,” Mr. Markram said.

“But I gave a couple of balls to get a feel for the wicket and eventually realized, watching Quinny and Rassie (Quinny de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen bat and having that initial feel, that it was a really good wicket.”

“The outfield was extremely fast, so there is always value for shots.” And that’s almost what I was thinking the whole time: that if you’re preparing to hit really strong, hard cricket shots, the outfield and pitch can help you a lot as well. So it was successful.

“Fortunately, balls hit gaps tonight.” They don’t always hit gaps, and the outcome could be different. But I’m glad it worked out that way, and again, it was a really good pitch, which definitely helped.”

This was only the fourth time in men’s ODI history that three players scored centuries in the same innings.

De Kock and Van der Dussen laid the groundwork for Markram’s heroics, and he explained that the attacking mindset was partly planned and partly due to the surface’s batting-friendly nature.

“I believe you do a lot of pre-game planning and stuff like that.” I believe it is natural for most teams, particularly South Africans visiting India, to speculate on how the conditions will play out.

“Then, I think, you get out there, and the wicket starts playing really well, and there’s a big sigh of relief at first.”

“Then, secondly, I believe a lot of instinct takes over and a sort of see-ball, hit-ball mentality takes over.”

“So marrying the two of them I suppose is quite crucial, but we’re thankful that we got a belter of a wicket there tonight.”

Markram’s celebration after reaching his century with an enormous six was filled with emotion.

When he leapt into the air, the 29-year-old described it as an almost out-of-body experience.

“It’s strange because you almost get this thing that takes over your body at times.” I believe there is a lot of passion in this team to give it our all in this World Cup and see how far we can go.

“We’re known for starting slowly, whether it’s in a series or maybe in world events and things like that, so we put a lot of emphasis on today’s game; to start well and play the same cricket that’s gotten us into this comp.”

“So I think it’s all of those emotions mingling and building up.” That sort of just comes out, along with a lot of pride for the three of us.”

South Africa, led by Markram, will return to World Cup action on Thursday when they face Australia in Lucknow.

 

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