Aiden Markram exclusive: ‘Our quicks love bowling to Virat’

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30 Oct 2022 | 05:21 AM
authorSandipan Banerjee

Aiden Markram exclusive: ‘Our quicks love bowling to Virat’

In an exclusive chat with, South Africa’s Aiden Markram speaks about a host of topics, including his side’s all-important clash against India

Five years ago, Aiden Markram took the cricketing world by storm by dominating the Test arena in his very first year, but, with time, the right-hander has evolved into a white-ball behemoth. 28 now, Markram is widely regarded as one of the best T20 batters in the world, and he is seen as someone integral to the Proteas’ chances of lifting the coveted T20 World Cup trophy for the first time.

Ahead of South Africa’s all-important clash against India in Perth, Sandipan managed to catch up with the dynamic batter, who in an exclusive chat spoke about a vast array of topics.

The game against India will be a crunch one. You guys have recently played against these boys. So, how beneficial will the experience be for your team, despite the change in conditions?

We do take a lot of confidence from the previous games we’ve played against India. We understand that they are a really good side and we’ve been fortunate enough to play quite a few series against them in the months gone by. It’s more about delivering on the day. In order to beat good teams, you need to execute your plans on the day. Ultimately that gives you the best chance to win.

Do you believe that bowling is South Africa's main strength in this World Cup?

I believe in our bowling unit massively. Perth has more bounce than most of the other venues and hopefully our bowlers can exploit that. We’ve seen in T20 cricket that you’ve still got to land the ball in the right areas, otherwise conditions can’t really help you. That’s sort of where the bowlers’ mindset is at - about being consistent and executing the ball they want to bowl. If the track is tough to bat on, it’s a bonus for us, but at the end of the day, if we can decide what ball we want to bowl and execute that, we’ll be successful.

On Sunday, you’ll be coming up against an in-form, fired-up Virat Kohli. Looking forward to the contest?

It always is an exciting contest, our quicks love bowling to Virat. He’s found form but our fast bowlers are also looking really good at the moment. It’s going to be an exciting contest.

Being South Africa's T20I Player of the year, you came into this World Cup with a lot of expectations. So, taking into consideration the Australian pitches, how do you define your role in this Protea T20I side?

You’ve got to be quite adaptable. If the top-order fires it becomes a role of carrying on the momentum and if you’re in a bit of trouble, you try and steady the ship. I see myself fitting in somewhere in-between. My focus is always to try and play the situation; do whatever the team requires at a particular point in time. 

Despite batting in the middle overs, you have maintained your strike-rate close to 150 in T20Is, much like what Surya does for the Indian team. So, is this the modern-day template of batting in the middle overs?

It’s important to remain aggressive and put pressure on bowlers. Having said that, I do think there is a time and place to play the situation. But all in all, you’re looking to score quickly; you’re looking for boundaries as much as you can. If you ask most batters nowadays, it’s about really getting on with things and playing that attacking brand that everyone sort of speaks about.

What was the mood in the dressing room like, after the Zimbabwe encounter got called off?

It was a bit disappointing to be honest. We let the umpires do their thing and we fully respect the decision. The disappointment came more from getting very close to the result and then not getting it. That happens. We’re trying to use it (the disappointment) to motivate ourselves for the remainder of the games because we’re at that stage now where you can’t even afford to lose one game.  

Finally, a word on Rilee Rossouw? Three 90+ scores (two hundreds) since coming back to the side, he’s been an absolute revelation

He’s been awesome to have around. The world has seen what he’s capable of with the bat, for many years. He does those freakish things more often than not, which really says a lot about his ability. But off the field the guys have loved him even more. He gets on with everyone with the team; he’s never short of a joke, a laugh and a smile. In terms of the full package    it’s been awesome to have him back. We hope that his form with the bat will continue for a long time.

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India vs South AfricaICC Men's T20 World Cup, Australia, 2022IndiaSouth Africa

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