Aiden Markram is eager to learn from Hashim Amla’s proven experience in English conditions, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
There were many who believed that Markram and Amla were competing for the same spot in the World Cup squad. But that debate proved futile when both players made the World Cup XV at the expense of Lions batsman Reeza Hendricks.
Markram, however, never saw Amla as his competition, but rather as someone whose knowledge he could draw upon to improve his own game. Rightly so, as Amla is the most successful South African in the 50-over format on England soil with 851 runs and an impressive average of 56.73. This includes two centuries and four half-centuries. It has, however, been two years since he last played an ODI in England.
Talking exclusively to SA Cricket magazine, Markram revealed who he tends to lean on for advice, singling out Amla as key to his development.
‘I don’t ask for outside advice really,’ said Markram. ‘I like to tap into the guys who are in camp. I lean on Faf [du Plessis] and Hash [Hashim Amla] quite a bit, as well as JP [Duminy].
‘I haven’t really chatted to Hash much [the last few months]. Obviously, he has been dealing with his own difficulties back at home, so I didn’t want to get in his way.
‘But I will definitely try and keep him close to me, looking for advice in the UK. As you said, he has done really well in the UK and has really good numbers there, so there will be a lot I can tap into.’
On top of having senior players to guide him, Markram’s time in England playing County Cricket and in the Royal One Day Cup will calm his nerves. The youngster once again found form at the perfect time, racking up 466 runs at an average of 58.25 and a strike rate 101.96. This included 88, 130 and 61 to sign off his tour.
‘I never signed with Hampshire thinking I will go to the World Cup,’ stated Markram.
‘I signed for growth, experience and different conditions. But it worked out. I got a good feel for the conditions as I felt my way around.
‘I tried to adapt my game around the conditions. But generally, for white-ball cricket, the wickets are very good.’
Markram will hope all of his preparations pay off at the showcase which starts on 30 May.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images