The World Cup will be the perfect platform for Aiden Markram to showcase his talent and play an impact role in England, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
Markram is someone who is very laid-back. Big occasions don’t seem to faze him and he loves a challenge, always bringing his A-game in pressure situations. The World Cup should be no different. From leading the Titans to One-Day Cup and T20 finals, to captaining the junior Proteas to the 2014 World Cup trophy, there hasn’t been much that Markram hasn’t done during the development stage of his career.
The World Cup will be a totally different stage for the 24-year-old, though, and he feels prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
‘Being at a World Cup on its own is enough to get the determination and motivation going,’ Markram told SACricketmag.com. ‘I’m just looking forward to the challenge of the different pressures at the World Cup.
‘We are just treating it as another ODI game, game by game. We are not putting too much emphasis on the World Cup tag at the end of each game. I’m just going to try and soak up the experience of being at a World Cup.’
The young opener has been a revelation in domestic white-ball cricket, whether he has played for the Titans or Hampshire in England. A List-A average of 46.62 in 57 games is impressive, and his strike rate of 100.92 relays a message how the youngster approaches his 50-over game.
He hasn’t been able to convert this form wearing the green and gold yet, averaging just 29.58, but this hasn’t dented Markram’s hunger, as he remains eager to improve. Having lost his wicket seven times in 29 games to spinners, Markam has marked this out as an aspect where he can improve, particularly at the Proteas camp in Johannesburg ahead of the World Cup.
‘Specifically, at the camp, it’s each to their own,’ said Markram. ‘Each guy knows what they will be coming across as at the World Cup in terms of various bowling attacks as a batsman, and batting attacks as a bowler. It will be different for each guy.
‘I will be focusing a lot on spin. I’m trying to develop solid plans and go-to shots when looking for boundaries. We will tap into everything at the camp, including all mental aspects. We all also analyse all the sides, so we can get there and it just becomes a case of refreshing our brains of what’s required to do.
He also mentioned who he is looking forward to facing: ‘I’m looking forward to facing Rashid Khan and also a guy like Jofra Archer if he is selected.’
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