SRI LANKA TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, 2019
Cricbuzz Staff •
Markram will have two chances to make his mark in ODIs © Getty
South Africa’s Test opener Aiden Markram, who was recalled to the national squad for the final two One Day Internationals (ODIs) against Sri Lanka, has revealed that he isn’t any more worried about slotting into South Africa’s 15-man team for the upcoming World Cup, starting on May 30th, in England.
With Hashim Amla dropping out of the squad for the last two matches on compassionate grounds, Markram is all set to open the innings for South Africa in the upcoming matches – at Port Elizabeth (on March 13th) and Cape Town (March 16th).
The 24-year old lost his place to Reeza Hendricks in the squad for the first three matches, but a combination of his own big scores in domestic cricket as well as lack of runs from the bat of Hendricks has meant that the talented batsman has been given an opportunity to show his skills and book a place in the World Cup bound squad.
Markram’s recall came on the back of stellar white-ball form with successive hundreds, 169 and 127 and followed it up with a 85 for his Centurion based domestic franchise, Titans, in the ongoing domestic one-day cup.
“There was a stage where it (World Cup selection) was really important to me and something I wanted, but like most things in life … you put things in perspective,” Markram said to the media, ahead of the fourth ODI in Port Elizabeth.
“It’s really not the end of the world, but having said that it would be a dream come true,” he added.
It has been a topsy turvy career for Markram with the white ball. In 16 matches, he has averaged a measly 25.43 – with his only half-century coming against Bangladesh on debut in East London. He was briefly anointed as South Africa’s captain, during the home series against India, a move that drew flak from the experts and it became evident that it was a move that was done way too early in his career.
Markram was eventually dropped from the ODI squad at the end of the 3-match series against Australia in November, 2018, but remained a constant in the Test squad. Having got another opportunity with the World Cup just around the corner, Markram doesn’t want to miss out. “I’d fight tooth and nail to try and get into that squad, so by no means am I floating around hoping it will happen. I’m trying my best to get in to that squad, but I think things have been put into perspective. Whether I get in or not, it sits easy with me. I just want the Proteas to go there and win the World Cup for the country … that’s really it,” Markram concluded.
South Africa have already gained an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5-match ODI series, but the next two matches, their last two official ODIs before the World Cup, will give the management an opportunity to arrive at the perfect combination for the mega tournament.