Aiden Markram: 2018 captaincy was a blessing in disguise

Aiden Markram ProteasAiden Markram.

Batsman Aiden Markram is looking forward to captaining the Proteas at a T20 World Cup for the first time.

Markram played under captain Temba Bavuma at the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups. He has since succeeded Bavuma ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup in the United States of America and West Indies.

Markram had captained South Africa in an interim capacity during 2018’s ODI series against India before being appointed to the limited-overs leadership on a full-time basis five years later.

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“I wasn’t 100 percent sure how I wanted to go about things as a captain then, in 2018,” Markram was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“You kind of try to work out as quickly as you can what your unique way of trying to lead is, and that series helped me sort of find that out. That was a blessing in disguise.

“It wasn’t a great series, of course, but it was cool at the time to have that responsibility, although pretty unexpected. In hindsight, I still hold those memories and lessons close.”

South Africa have been pooled with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Nepal in group D at this year’s T20 World Cup. The Proteas have never won the tournament. They were losing semi-finalists in 2009 and 2014.

We’ve been tracking really well. From the Dubai-Abu Dhabi T20 World Cup, from a consistency point of view, we’re playing a lot better at World Cups, which is good,” added Markram.

“Each person handles the World Cup pressure differently, so it’s understandable that some guys will just say it’s another game to them and someone else might feel that extra pressure.

“So being able to then help that guy and manage that guy will be important for us. What we’ve been doing as a team is good and we’re not going to change that.”

Markram averages 39 after 39 T20Is – and has a strike rate of 151. He is currently with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League – and will play for the Texas Super Kings in Major League Cricket in the United States later this year.

Power-hitting is not the most natural thing for me just based on how I’ve always played. I’ve always been a space hitter – generally more fours than sixes, a lot more twos than ones, especially in the initial phase of my innings, I don’t mind my power game once I feel in,” concluded Markram.

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