Proteas batsman Aiden Markram says his main objective at the moment is to secure his place in the Test team again before possibly setting his sights on the captaincy vacancy.
Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been named as interim captain of the red-ball team for the summer with Cricket South Africa hoping to find a long-term replacement for Faf du Plessis.
Markram, who captained the South Africa u-19 team to World Cup glory in 2014, emerged as one of the candidates to replace Du Plessis when the 36-year-old announced that he would be stepping down as captain of all Proteas teams back in February.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Markram said his only focus now is to get back to scoring consistent runs for the Proteas, who will face Sri Lanka in the first of two Test matches, starting in Centurion on Saturday.
‘It is something that I really enjoy doing but I haven’t put much focus on that at all to be honest. I’m in a position now where I’m making sure I’m anchoring myself. I am almost in a position now where I am playing for my spot again so for me to be thinking about captaincy and things like that is certainly not on my radar at all,’ he said.
The right-hander has had his fair share of injury problems over the past 18 months, which came at a time where he was also struggling to make runs for the team.
A recent return to form on the domestic front for the Titans, though, appears to have sparked new life into the 26-year-old and he is adamant that he needs to pull his weight with the bat for the team come Saturday.
‘I need to score a lot of runs for the country, if I do play, and actually for whichever team I do play for. It is something that I have addressed before and I certainly haven’t been good enough over the past 18 months. If I do get the chance to play then it is just about scoring lots of runs.’
Alongside Markram, players like Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen and Keshav Maharaj have popped up as worthy contenders to be named the new Test captain.
De Kock indicated earlier this week that his appointment is by no means a permanent one and that he was approached by CSA to carry the weight of leader for the upcoming red-ball encounters.
‘In terms of leadership in the camp there are plenty of leaders and the nice part is each guys has his own unique way of leading,’ added Markram.
‘The guys have almost tapped into each other from that perspective and that is how we are going to get the team moving in the right direction, which ultimately is the main goal we are going towards and hopefully one that we can conquer.’