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Why Aiden Markram holds the key for the Proteas?

The Cricket World Cup 2019 ended with a disappointment for South Africa. Aiden Markram now holds the key for the Proteas and is expected to do great.

Last updated: 26.07.2019
Why Aiden Markram holds the key for the Proteas | Sports Social Blog

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It’s not easy to captain the mighty Protea side nowadays- right?


You’d consider yourself fortunate to not be wearing Faf du Plessis’ shoes, a man who scored the lion’s share of South Africa’s runs in a tournament marked with disdain.



When none including the redoubtable Quinton de Kock found it tough to score big, Faf broke away quietly with a fighting hundred. In a fitting fashion, the captain was his team’s only century-maker in the 2019 World Cup.


But even that wasn’t enough to put a healing balm to the cuts and burns inflicted on fans by a team they breathe for. They live for.


The just-concluded world cup served a haunting but excellent reminder to us fans. That despite possessing all the talent in the world in 11 capable men it’s still possible to fail perhaps experiencing a bit of a spiritual vacuum within.


Some would put it down to poor luck. After all, Dale Steyn, who was all set to bowl South Africans to at least the semis stage, walked away injured without bowling a single delivery.


Others would hold AB’s absence as the big deciding factor.


Amla was a shadow of his former self. The guy even struggled against Afghanistan, against whom he batted for 83 balls and over 100 minutes and still missed a fifty.


JP Duminy, playing his final World Cup disappointed. It was somewhere absurd to note that a batsman with 199 ODIs against his name managed a top score of 45 in the series.


And there was nothing ‘Killer’ about David Miller.


It didn’t take long for Faf to declare upon the first two losses, featuring an utterly listless effort against England (in the campaign opener) that, “the guys are hurting!”


South Africa, despite not being terrible with the ball- Rabada with his penetrating pace and the priceless Imran Tahir being constantly among the wickets- disappointed.


But one batsman, despite failing to make a proper mark in the World Cup, showed some rhythm, bursting into an array of gorgeous strokes on some occasions.


He reminded, especially in the games against Australia and Bangladesh, that he’s far too capable of changing gears in the shorter format and can open for South Africa in the limited format, when needed.


Aiden Markram collected merely 140 runs, albeit batting in only 6 of the 10 games that South Africa played.


But his graceful batting and ability to collect runs quickly at the top indicated that despite the familiar heartbreak that South Africa copped up, not all seemed wrong in the batting department.


And for a side that brings so much joy and unbridled enthusiasm for the sport, may that remain the case for times to come.


Even before Quinton de Kock began pounding some runs against Australia, Aiden Markram had already stepped down the ground to Lyon.


His 34 off 37 lacked the skin you’d expect from a meaty ODI score but it had all the intent you’d expect from a batsman with an instinct for domination.


You don’t hit Starc for a square drive in an opening over, do you?


Then, in the second over, as Behrendorff came into bowl, Aiden Markram perhaps played the most under-appreciated stroke by a South African in the entirety of the World Cup.


Launching himself into a cover drive, Markram bisected the short cover and the point fielder and beautifully adjusted his weight moving gradually to the front as he burst onto copybook style perfection on the pitch.


His most glorious illustration, though, would follow in the eighth over. Spotting early flight in Lyon’s first delivery of the second over, Markram converted a good delivery into a hapless one, his feat moving beautifully like a ballerina’s amid an esteemed gathering as the white ball was lost in the crowds over long-on.


Forget Faf’s belligerent hundred or de Kock’s roaring fifty in that very game.


It was Markram’s craftiness up first that opened the floodways of runs for the Proteas.


Just when it seemed that Markram was coming into his own, scoring a quickfire 45-off-55 versus Bangladesh just days back, his team found themselves out of business and on the plane.


But among the sights that earned sufficient attention from the commentary box was the young batsman’s undaunted very artist-like ability to cut loose on the off side.


He served a timeless example on this note by breaking into a cracker of a square drive against Shaifuddin, sending the right-armer to the fence whilst managing to lift his backleg.


If you were an art connoisseur that day, then The Oval unfurled a gifted artist from Centurion.


South Africa’s next big assignment is in India where they play 3 T20s and as many Tests.


There’s little doubt that they’d fly Hashim Amla down there to count in with his experience to handle spin.


The last they visited this part of the sub-continent was almost half a decade back. The rosy days of De Villiers’ dominance are gone. There’s going to be no Duminy too.


For a few young guns, however, this would be a great platform from which to launch into solid careers.


While it’ll be brilliant to see how Faf martials his troops, an army of talents to which Van der Dussen richly belongs, the onus will be on Aiden Markam to get them going.


In the limited time that du Plessis and Amla have on them, Markram’s occasional failings can be veiled in front of his senior’s charisma.


But he must not identify reasons to give in. He must soldier on for South Africa. Together with de Kock, 26, Aiden Markram, at 24, hold the thrust of Protea’s top order scoring.



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