Markram and co set sights on WB title

Henry

Aiden Markram, the Proteas’ captain for the T20 World Cup, is determined to hold up South Africa’s first silverware in the format.

Markram was the first South African captain to win a World Cup 10 years ago when SA defeated the o. 19 title won.

The Proteas begin their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in New York on Monday.

“There aren’t that many eyes watching you in an age group tournament, and as a youngster you might be a bit oblivious to pressure,” said Markram.

“Then it was just a matter of dealing with what was in front of you. Now there is a lot more planning and preparation and making sure everyone’s heads are right.

“A World Cup is a massive event, but I’m lucky to have been to quite a few so I know what to expect. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m excited to be a part of it,” he said.

Markram in 2014 in the o. 19 tournament led by example and hit 370 runs at an average of 123.33. He was also named the player of the tournament.

Markram admits that South Africa’s T20 results since he and coach Rob Walter took charge early last year have been less impressive.

Under Markram, the team managed just two wins in eight games.

The Proteas recently got bogged down in three matches against the Windies in Jamaica. However, Markram and six other players were still involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

South Africa is seventh in the International Cricket Council’s standings.

Markram believes that this does not reflect the full story.

“We have a good team.”

South Africa has a strong batting list, with players like Quinton de Kock, Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and the exciting Tristan Stubbs – one of the standouts in the IPL.

Only De Kock played against the West Indies.

Meanwhile, Walter said that he has chosen bowlers that he believes can strike early in an innings.

Anrich Nortjé, the team’s fastest bowler, is a key player but has struggled in the IPL and against the West Indies after returning from a long-term stress fracture.

“He’s had a massive injury and a lot of time away from the game, but we all support him and know what he can do,” says Markram.

The South African captain, together with Klaasen and Marco Jansen, only joined the team in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday evening.