- Proteas batsman Aiden Markram wants to play his way back into the national side ahead of the busy summer.
- Markram hasn’t played for the Proteas since December last year after being sidelined for six months with injuries.
- He is eager to deliver with the bat this season as the 4-Day Franchise Series kicked off this week.
Proteas batsman Aiden Markram is mentally prepared and physically ready to reclaim his place in national side ahead of the 2020/2021 season.
Markram has not played for the Proteas since December 2019 after the 25-year-old suffered two hand injuries, which left his spot up for grabs.
Despite recovering a month later, Markram struggled to get back into the national side and was excluded from the T20 and ODI series against Australia in February-March.
Two centuries for the Titans in the One Day Cup showed glimpses of the talented Markram before the coronavirus pandemic cut short the 2019/20 season.
Eight months later, domestic cricket has returned to South Africa as the 4-Day Franchise Series kicked off behind-closed-doors this week.
Markram made 2 and 48 in the Titans’ opening encounter against the Cape Cobras at Newlands, which saw the Centurion-franchise seal a two-wicket win.
The Titans batsman admitted that although he wasn’t expecting a selection for the upcoming series, he was eager to get back into the national side.
“I feel like I’m in a space where I need to get myself back into the side whether it be white ball or red ball [cricket],” Markram told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s a place that I enjoy being in, it helps you appreciate what you’ve been through and wanting to have that again. That’s sort of the space I’m in mentally right now.
“I’m not banking nor expecting any selections, it ultimately comes down to me scoring runs and adding value wherever I can on the field.”
The Proteas take on world champions England in three T20s and three ODIs, with the first T20 match scheduled to start at Newlands on 27 November.
Markram’s next assignment will be against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth next week where he’ll be hoping to convert and push for a Proteas spot.
“We go home for two days and we’ll be practising for those conditions – there’ll be lots of spin and straight stuff. Going to PE, I have to be open-minded. I might not be able to use the same game plan where batting is better in the highveld,” said Markram.
“We try and play it by ear and that’s one thing Mandla (Mashimbyi, Titans head coach) has brought to the team. We’ve been more open to adapting and change, and it’s something that has been working and it has been proven this week.
“[The] guys, have been brave enough to try different options. He (Mandla) allows us to be free, which helps with my batting style.”
Upcoming Proteas men’s fixtures:
Friday, 27 November at 18:00:
1st T20I: South Africa v England, Newlands, Cape Town
Sunday, 29 November at 14:30:
2nd T20I: South Africa v England, Boland Park, Paarl
Tuesday, 1 December at 18:00:
3rd T20I: South Africa v England, Newlands, Cape Town
Friday, 4 December at 13:00:
1st ODI: South Africa v England, Newlands, Cape Town
Sunday, 6 December at 10:00:
2nd ODI: South Africa v England, Boland Park, Paarl
Wednesday, 9 December at 13:00:
3rd ODI: South Africa v England, Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday, 26-30 December 2020 at 10:00:
1st Test match (WTC): South Africa v Sri Lanka, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sunday, 3-7 January 2021 at 10:00 SAST:
2nd Test match (WTC): South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Wanderers, Johannesburg
– Compiled by Lynn Butler