Even if Australia’s all-around dominance helped them destroy the Netherlands in their World Cup match on Wednesday, its best batters still think that 400-plus runs in one-day international cricket are still the exception rather than the rule.
The former world champions won spectacularly in New Delhi, scoring a massive 399 and taking 10 wickets for just 90 runs.
Although there is a lot of talk about how T20 cricket is having an increasing impact on 50-over cricket, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith stated that factors such as field conditions, opposition bowling, and a lucky day at bat all contribute to reaching the 400-run mark in 50 overs.
After the game, Smith claimed that the top order’s performance in managing the middle overs and creating a foundation for those batting later to “have a smack at the back-end of the innings” was what made Wednesday’s high score possible. However, he added that this was only possible when the pitch helped the batsmen.
Maxwell was the standout batsman for Australia, scoring 106 off 44 balls to record the fastest century in ODI World Cup history. However, he was just one of two centurions, as David Warner achieved his sixth World Cup tonne, with scores of 71 and 62, respectively, from Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.
“There’s still a lot of things (other than the surface) that need to go right to get 400,” Maxwell said in his post-match press conference. “There still needs to be a platform, there still needs to be solid intent through the middle overs, and then you need a sensational finish. Like you need to be powerful at the back end.”
Aiden Markram, who scored a century off 49 balls a few weeks prior at the same pitch where South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka to 428, lost the record to Maxwell.
“South Africa, when they got their 420 here, they had – was it three blokes getting hundreds? And even then it took something brilliant from Markram to come out and pump it around after a long partnership which is sometimes not easy to do,” Maxwell said.
“A big partnership is sometimes really hard to bat after in one-day cricket because you’re expected to keep that momentum, but he did it beautifully,” he added.
Records on my mind, says Maxwell
Maxwell, who has been inspired by world records throughout his career, kept one eye on the number of balls he faced on the scoreboard as he unleashed mayhem from both ends at the end of Australia’s innings, going from 14 in the 42nd over to 100 in the 49th.
“I’m very aware of them (records). I’m very aware of balls faced. I love the fastest 50, and fastest 100 records. I think they’re pretty cool records. Sometimes to the detriment of myself, I’ve always probably pushed the boundaries a bit too much,” he said.
“So, it was I’ve been in those positions before I could make fast hundreds when I get on the run, I know I’m difficult to bowl to. Just about getting past the first ball,” he said, smiling.