South Africa will once again attempt to break their Cricket
World Cup duck when they take part in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE
with batsman Aiden Markram an important member of their line-up.
South Africa will once again attempt to break their Cricket World Cup duck when they take part in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE with batsman Aiden Markram an important member of their line-up.
Markram hasn’t played too much international T20 cricket but recently turned out for the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League in the UAE where he played six matches in the competition, averaging just shy of thirty.
He has played fifteen T20 Internationals and his average in that format is 35 which is an impressive return, however his strike-rate is even more impressive sitting just short of 150 runs per 100 balls faced.
His record across all three formats continues to improve the more international cricket he plays and the 27-year-old will likely fill an important role at the upcoming World Cup.
Markram was part of the Proteas squad that went to the 2019 50 over World Cup and led the SA Under-19 side to their first triumph at a World Cup and having been part of both the pressure of a senior World Cup is more intense.
“The pressure is a lot more (at a senior World Cup),” Markram said. “Any World Cup is quite a high-pressure environment and ultimately under that pressure you need to put performances together as individuals and as a team.
“At Under 19 level there isn’t as much pressure and at the time there wasn’t much media exposure and a lot less pressure on the players to win the trophy.
“I don’t think the experiences are that different, but everything is just a lot more exaggerated at a big world cup be it T20 or 50 over.”
Being able to be in the high-pressure environment of the IPL is something that Markram is grateful for and feels that he gained some valuable experience from his time with the Punjab Kings.
“It was a great experience, and it was nice to be able to be exposed to that high pressure and good standard of cricket.
“It was nice to be able to learn on the job and to mingle with some seriously good players who do the IPL circuit.
“Post-games chatting to guys that have done well in IPL cricket and legends of T20 cricket was great and it was good sponging information off them.
“But it was also good working things out for myself out in the middle during a game,” Markram added.
Given Markram’s involvement, along with a handful of other South Africans, in the IPL, the question of conditions is an important one going into the World Cup at the same venues. Markram was surprised by how the pitches played during the tournament.
“The conditions weren’t too bad, and each ground was very different especially in terms of how the wickets played.
“I didn’t expect that, and I thought they would be the same but actually each ground had it’s own set of challenges.
“Generally, they are not the easiest pitches to bat on but once you get in you can still win the game but generally it’s tougher for the newer batters coming in.
“In general, taking the pace off has been a go-to for most teams and bowling your spinners at the right time is an attacking move but if you get that wrong it plays in the batting team’s hands,” Markram commented.
The Proteas begin their ICC T20 World Cup bid on 23 October against Australia in Abu Dhabi.
In the six previous T20 World Cup’s South Africa have reached the semi-finals twice losing to Pakistan in 2009 and then India in 2014.
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