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Jake Fraser-McGurk on his record hundred: 'Everything felt a lot slower than usual'

"People forget I'm still only 21, so hopefully got plenty of cricket to come and the way I see it, I'm just getting started"

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
10-Oct-2023
Hold the pose: Jake Fraser-McGurk peppered the boundary, South Australia vs Tasmania, Marsh Cup, Karen Rolton Oval, October 8, 2023

Hold the pose: Jake Fraser-McGurk struck 13 sixes during his century  •  Getty Images

When you knock AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle off their perch life can become a bit of a blur, so it's perhaps unsurprising that for Jake Fraser-McGurk his feat in Adelaide a few days ago, where he scorched a 29-ball hundred, was still sinking in.
Fraser-McGurk's astonishing display at Karen Rolton Oval shaved two deliveries off de Villiers' 31-ball hundred against West Indies in 2015 as the fastest List A century, and also bettered by one Gayle's 30-ball T20 effort against Pune Warriors in IPL 2015 meaning Fraser-McGurk holds the fastest hundred in the professional game.
"I had no idea [about the record]. I was just trying to hit the ball to the boundary," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I came off and a few of the boys said you've broken a few records and the one that sticks out is AB against West Indies, I remember watching that innings, it was incredible."
The onslaught began when Fraser-McGurk took 32 off Sam Rainbird's second over. He passed fifty off 18 deliveries and needed just 11 more to reach the century. In all, he struck 13 sixes, and 23 off the 38 balls he faced before finding deep midwicket went to the boundary.
"I was seeing the ball so clearly and everything felt a lot slower than usual, I was in that zone, that mental state, which is something as a batter you try and be in every single time but it's rare," he said. "To finally have that happen is very pleasing."
The mind-boggling display has come early in a new phase of Fraser-McGurk's career following a winter move from Victoria to South Australia, although he will remain with Melbourne Renegades for the BBL. After making headlines as a 17-year-old when he scored half-centuries on both his List A and first-class debuts, it has been a tricky journey in the early years of his career.
"It's tough leaving your home and all your friends," he said. "I've played a lot of cricket with the Victorian boys throughout my junior career. I've got lifelong friendships with those blokes but just felt I needed to be a bit selfish and do what's best for me, get some more opportunity elsewhere, and South Australia came calling and took that with open arms. They've been absolutely brilliant."
He was particularly full of praise for batting coach Steve Stubbings - "up there with one of the best I've had, everything is so clear with him" - but he continues to lean heavily on his long-time coach Shannon Young back in Victoria.
"I've been around for a while, but some people forget I'm still only 21, so hopefully got plenty of cricket to come and the way I see it, I'm just getting started"
While the innings against Tasmania took things to a different level, Fraser-McGurk had given a hint at his batting mindset this season with a combined tally of 66 off 43 balls in the Sheffield Shield match against the same opposition, which followed two brisk 2nd XI scores against Queensland.
"Every time you go out you have to adapt to conditions, but I usually do go out there and bat with some positive intent and try to get the game on my terms," he said. "It's a new process I'm working on, still learning and trusting, watching the ball incredibly hard, being calm and having full confidence in myself that I can play the shot I want to each delivery."
Having struggled to kick on from his promising debuts as a 17-year-old, Fraser-McGurk admitted to having doubted himself at various stages but believes that having started so young can make it easy to forget his game is still developing.
"You have that thought in the back of your head when you think you aren't really up to it when you're not doing well," he said. "I started pretty well in both debuts and was thinking it could only really go up from there being a naive young kid. I've been around for a while, but some people forget I'm still only 21, so hopefully got plenty of cricket to come and the way I see it, I'm just getting started.
"I've caught myself a few times thinking this is so hard, but then I realise where some other greats of the game were at my age. Steve Smith was a bowler at my age and now he's one of the best batsmen in the world, so things like that, you have to realise you've got plenty of time.
"But it never means taking a backward step or stop working as hard, just means you have time to figure out your craft and now hopefully getting that score away, it can be a bit clearer for me."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo