Markram guns for T20 series victory on debut as skipper

Idea is to play confident, match-winning cricket, new man at the helm says

Batting all-rounder and now Proteas T20 captain Aiden Markram will be putting his leadership skills to the test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park, in Centurion, on Saturday
LEADING THE CHARGE: Batting all-rounder and now Proteas T20 captain Aiden Markram will be putting his leadership skills to the test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park, in Centurion, on Saturday
Image: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

Newly appointed Proteas T20 captain Aiden Markram says the series against the West Indies will be a tough battle but the team will give it their all in their quest for victory.

The three-match series gets under way at his home ground, SuperSport Park, in Centurion, on Saturday (2pm) and Markram, like new head coach Rob Walter, is keen to get off to a winning start.

The destructive right-hand batter, who is no slouch at bowling right arm off-spin either, said SA’s approach to the series would be to play confident, match-winning cricket.

Asked about the potential starting XI for the first encounter, Markram said there were a few ideas floating around between himself and SA’s management, though a final decision would be made based on their assessment of conditions.

“The energies are good, the guys are nice and relaxed and a lot of emphasis has been put on us to enjoy our time and enjoy what are expected to be good crowds and viewers across SA and the world.

“In terms of conditions, it is always generally a good wicket at Centurion, so the bowlers will have their skills tested while the batters will look to score big, match-winning runs for their team,” Markram told a hybrid press conference on Friday afternoon.

“It is also a series where we will try to rotate players and try to give everyone a go as best as possible, but ultimately we want to play the conditions well to win the series, and not just see it as a series for experimentation.”

 

Aiden Markram says from a captaincy perspective, Faf du Plessis, under whom he played when he first broke onto the international scene, had a profound influence on him
RELISHING THE CHALLENGE: Aiden Markram says from a captaincy perspective, Faf du Plessis, under whom he played when he first broke onto the international scene, had a profound influence on him
Image: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

Having had a taste of the captaincy at a senior level in 2018 against India, Markram said he had much to learn in the role.

“It has been quite a while and I was quite fresh back then and at that young age I was quite hard on myself.

“I always wanted to do well but unfortunately the sport doesn’t always work that way.

“You have to learn to take things in your stride.

“I’ve said it before, try to take performances and outcomes out of things and focus on elements that give you the best chance to succeed on the day, whether it works or not.

“You rub shoulders with great leaders and players in the team, who then help you to put things into perspective.

“It is only the start for me and I still have a lot to learn, and I will be relying on the entire team and management to bump ideas off and to share information with as we go along.”

On some of his biggest influences from a captaincy perspective, Markram said high on the list was Faf du Plessis, under whom he played when he broke onto the international scene.

“There have been quite a few, I think back to starting, being quite young and in that legendary team that the Proteas had at the time.

“How Faf marshalled his troops was something I really looked up to and strived to try to become, so I have learnt a lot from him, probably without him knowing, just observing from the side.

“You saw quite a few captains in our SA20 league that are now going to be at my disposal, not only for this upcoming series but going into future series and tournaments as well.

“There is quite a lot of experience in those guys and I am sure they can help me along the way.”

The Proteas and Windies do battle in back-to-back clashes at Centurion on Saturday and Sunday, with both matches getting under way at 2pm.

The final match of the series will be contested at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Tuesday (6pm)

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