The spin bowling camp in India for the 12 South African youngsters who took part was a success according to Titans batsman Aiden Markram.
A squad of 12 players (eight bowlers, four batsmen) were selected to attend the camp which was aimed at improving the batsmen’s ability to cope on the spin-friendly wickets of India whilst the bowlers were taught how to make best use of the subcontinental pitches.
‘It was a wholesome experience in conditions that were very foreign to us,’ Markram reflected. ‘But in the same breath, it is a great opportunity to learn as much as we have done. So I feel blessed to have been part of it and I really enjoyed it.’
The Titans youngster also remarked on how beneficial the squad found the advice imparted by the Indian coaches.
‘I think it was good to be sponging off the Indian coaches,’ Markram added. ‘They obviously have their own ways that have worked over the years.’
‘Watching how they approach an innings, they almost dare to do anything, which is their mindset, and I suppose that’s why they’re a nation that plays such entertaining cricket. That’s what probably stood out for me the most, which is their approach.’
Proteas Test batsman Theunis de Bruyn meanwhile also noted the importance of performing in conditions different to those in South Africa.
‘We can’t only be players that play well in South Africa, we need to adjust our game to wherever we play in the world’, he said.
‘You have to learn to create a few more shots to be able to get you out of jail and to unsettle the opposition. Here you’re a sitting duck and they really get on top of you if you sit back too much. So those are things you need to learn and to get this opportunity to see the expertise they have here first hand, it’s been a wonderful opportunity.’
Markram was confident that the camp has given the players new-found confidence when facing spin which will stand them in good stead going forward.
‘But I’ve had to learn different methods to try and score runs, being a bit more positive in these kinds of conditions. The camp itself gives us a lot more belief in ourselves when it comes to playing spin, that for me is fantastic.’
The camp took place from 30 April to 7 May in Mumbai.