Aiden Markram feels Centurion could be a good batting wicket

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Aiden Markram feels Centurion could be a good batting wicket

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SportsCafe Desk

01/12/2018

While admitting that the Centurian wicket will be similar to Cape Town, Aiden Markram believes that the wicket will not be as extreme and the batsmen should be able to put up some runs. Markram also praised India by stating that he had a chance of learning new things by playing the talented side.

On the Newlands track bowlers, especially pacers from both teams, were more than a handful for the batsmen with 40 wickets falling in just four days, with one day being washed out. The South African opener believes that at Centurion, the teams will face extra bounce and pace and despite those factors, the ground will provide a good wicket for the batsmen. 

"Generally, it's a good batting wicket here although I am not sure how they have prepared it this time. But there have been a lot of high scores here. I would like to think it will be a good wicket. I am pretty sure it will be similar to last week (Cape Town), maybe not as extreme," Markram said as quoted by Cricketnext.

"It is incredibly exciting to play here because it is a place where I grew up watching and playing cricket. It's a wicket where if you set yourself up as a batsman there are runs to be had. But as a bowler, with the pace and bounce, you always have a shout as well. It's going to be an exciting match."

Markram made his Test debut in September last year and he enjoyed a positive start to the longest format of the game as he scored two centuries in his first three matches. He played 143 and 125 run knocks against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe respectively. Now, the 23-year-old has a chance to play against India, who have led the Test rankings for more than a year now.

"Playing against India is a massive step up (as compared to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). It was a massive step up. There's a reason why they are the No 1 team in the world - they have quality players in all departments.

"They tick all the boxes and they have come here to compete, which is great. For me as a young guy, it is awesome. Every day you are learning something new, and to be exposed to challenges like that is great. You learn your best lessons at this level. So it was valuable and going into this Test it's something I'll be more aware of," he added.

The South African batsman has played 40 first-class games scoring 3002 runs at an average of 49.21 including eight centuries and 15 half-centuries. In the short span of his international career so far the player has shown the worth that he can be for the team.

"It's been a bit of a roller-coaster the last couple of years but an enjoyable one. I learnt a lot about my game and myself, which is important. I am fortunate to rub shoulders with legends of the game at a young age, which does help. Most importantly I have kept learning, which is great," he said.

Kagiso Rabada made his Test debut against Team India at Mohali in November 2015. In more than a two year period, the 22-year-old played 24 Tests so far claiming 110 wickets at an average of 21.96. Rabada has become a crucial part of the South African squad and the pacer maintains that trust by holding the top spot in the ICC rankings.

"KG (Rabada) has fitted (taken) like a duck to water in international cricket. He's put his hand up for the side and he almost sees his role as a senior one even though he is so young. He has adopted a great mindset. He is obviously a very competitive guy. He has got a lot of X-factor about him and what's lovely is he likes to compete with batsmen - he never likes a batsman to get up on him. It's a great trait for him to have," said Markram.

After Dale Steyn ruled out from the team due to his left heel injury South Africa management announced new developments in the squad which includes the name of Duanne Olivier and uncapped 21-year-old Lungi Ngidi.

"I am incredibly happy for Lungi. We have played for quite a few years both with and against each other. I am happy to see him getting a chance and he really does deserve it. He puts in a lot of hard work behind the scenes and he has the perfect mindset for an up-and-coming player. It filters onto the rest of us," he added.

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