“It’s quite strange because you almost get this thing that just takes over your body at certain moments. I think there’s a lot of passion in this team to give our absolute all at this World Cup and see how far it can get us.”
It was an exciting weekend of action at the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India, and for the Proteas especially it was one they will not forget for some time.
The Proteas got their campaign off to a flying start with a record breaking 102-run win against Sri Lanka in Delhi.
The Proteas broke several records in the game with their innings of 428/5 being the highest team total at a World Cup, while Aiden Markram scored the fastest ever century at a World Cup.
The centuries by Markram, Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen also saw the Proteas becoming the first time in the history of the World Cup to score three tons in their innings.
Markram who scored 106-runs said a lot of preparation went into their performance.
“I think you do a lot of planning and stuff like that before the game. I think it’s natural for most teams to speculate how conditions are going to play, especially South Africans coming over to India. Not always 100% sure. And then I think you get out there, and the wicket starts playing really well.
“It’s initially a big sigh of relief and then secondly, I think what you mentioned now a lot of instinct does take over. And sort of see-ball-hit-ball sort of mentality. So marrying the two of them I suppose is quite crucial but yeah we’re thankful that we got a belter of a wicket there tonight.”
Apart from the 108-runs by Rassie van der Dussen and 100 by Quinton de Kock, the Proteas also impressed with the ball.
The 23-year-old Gerald Coetzee from Bloemfontein with was the pick of the bowlers in what was his World Cup debut with 3/68 in 9 overs, while Keshav Maharaj took 2/62 in 10 overs, while Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen each bagged two wickets as well.
Earlier in the year Proteas came agonisingly close to playing in the qualifying tournament, but they managed to turn things around and have been a lot more consistent.
Markram added that there is a lot of belief in the squad and it was important to start fast.
“It’s quite strange because you almost get this thing that just takes over your body at certain moments. I think there’s a lot of passion in this team to give our absolute all at this World Cup and see how far it can get us.
“We’re known to start pretty slowly, be it in a series or maybe 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 we’ve been playing that’s managed to sneak us into this comp.
“I think it’s all of those emotions sort of mixed up and building up. That sort of just comes out and a lot of pride naturally for the three of us as well. When it’s your day try to cash in and really make it count. So a mixture of quite a lot of things I would say.”
The Proteas next challenge is on Thursday when they face Australia in Lucknow.
Meanwhile, in the weekend’s other results – Pakistan beat the Netherlands by 81 runs in Hyderabad, while Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by six-wickets in Dharamsala.
On Sunday the hosts, India got off to a strong start with a six-wicket win over Australia in Chennai.
On Monday at 10:30 the Netherlands will face the Black Caps of New Zealand in Hyderabad.