Dawid Malan struggled to stand up towards the end of his lengthy press conference, realising that he needed to hold the table to fully support himself. The rush of adrenaline had worn off. The stiffness, the weariness, and the pain, the hours of clenched muscles, and the miles in his legs had finally set in. It undoubtedly felt amazing.
Malan will sleep soundly. Going to bed with an unbeaten 110 runs on the first day of the Ashes will certainly do that to you. The emotions of scoring a maiden Test century, during the biggest test series of all, while your parents watch from the stands, will certainly do that to you.
Malan celebrated his 30th birthday in September, and in cricketing terms, he is not considered a young man anymore. For most of the last decade, slogging away in Middlesex, Malan was nowhere near the standards of the England side. And for most of that time, it would have been tempting to contemplate that was it for him: a comfortable, nice existence in the county nest.
But for Dawid Malan, it was never going to be enough. He wanted more. He strongly believed he was one of the rare cricket players who would save his absolute best for the main stage. After several tests in his cricket career, he finally managed to prove it and found his element on an extremely quick Waca surface.
“You enjoy county cricket while being more concerned about your front pad being blown off, or perhaps nicking off to 80mph dibbly-dobblies,” Malan said. “So, I truly enjoyed the difficult challenge of facing some of these guys.”
What about the Test century moment itself – a remarkable pull for four from Josh Hazlewood’s delivery to take him from an incredible 98 up to 102? Malan stated that he always lied awake at night thinking of scoring a century. But during a match, it becomes a blur and eventually disappears.
“It was extremely emotional, not knowing what to do. To be honest, I almost started crying. The amount of sacrifices my mom and old man made to get me here and to achieve it in front of them was nice to finally repay them for everything they’ve given me.”
Malan was a surprising choice for the England team last summer, where he initially struggled. His debut against South Africa at The Oval saw Malan on all fours after his stumps were cleaned up by Rabada.
“After the initial two games, I thought I would never score a Test cricket run again. Fortunately, I managed to adjust my game slightly.”
After a good night’s sleep, and a fresh start, there is still plenty to be done for both Malan and the England cricket team. A fresh Australian attack, a still-new cricket ball to be negotiated, and a revitalised Nathan Lyon will certainly help those in Canada and the rest of the world ready to place bets on England and cricket betting ,will help push the team towards victory.