Janneman Malan’s superb 177 not out in Friday’s final ODI against Ireland was the fourth-highest individual score by a South African in ODI cricket. He fell 11 runs short of Gary Kirsten’s record of 188 against the UAE in the 1996 World Cup.
When asked if the record was on his mind, the 25-year-old said he was only focused on the job at hand.
“No, I never really thought about that [breaking the record]. I don’t know. Some batters will tell you that sometimes you’re just in the zone, in the moment. I believe it’s called the ‘flow state’ and I was definitely in it. Maybe next time [I’ll think of the record].”
Malan’s innings was the foundation for the Proteas 70-run victory which helped them level the three-match series. The destructive opener now averages an eye-opening 120.75 in his six innings in ODI cricket, this includes two centuries and two 50s. He touched on his approach to international cricket.
“At this level, you just never know how many games you’re going to get. I just made it clear to myself mentally that if I’m not going to play regularly, I’ll make sure that every time I do get to the crease, I’ll go out on my own terms.
“I’ll never play in desperation for my spot, because then you’re just going to make it difficult for yourself anyway. So, I just let go. I just do what I do and do it the best I can. If that’s not good enough, then I can deal with that.”
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher shared his opinion on the opener, who scored 84 in the match before his knock of 177.
“He got some opportunities last season and he’s done really well. Now we’re in a situation where the depth is becoming quite big and Janneman is showing that. He’s taking those opportunities.
“We rested Quinny [de Kock] for the first two games and Janneman came in and scored 84. Then he gets an opportunity to bat with Quinny and I think he would’ve learnt a helluva lot, smashing the ball to all parts. He’s certainly putting up his hand. It’s a good headache to have.”
© Agence France-Presse