Aiden Markram asserted that South Africa will look to adopt a ‘positive and brave’ approach in the ODIs against Pakistan and insisted that the Proteas will take inspiration from both England and India. Markram further claimed that he was not expecting an ODI recall, and was glad to be back.
Less than a week ago, India and England flexed their muscles as the two teams made a mockery of the ODI format by pushing the bar, making 300+ totals and targets look like a walk in the park. This daredevilry approach yielded England a World Cup title but a replication of the methodology saw India not just compete, but outmuscle the Three Lions. The outrageous batting prowess of the two sides made many wonder if further teams might go down the aggressive route even in ODI cricket, in the future, and it now looks like South Africa might be next in line to experiment with the ‘throw caution to the wind from ball one tactic.
Speaking ahead of the Proteas’ ODI series versus Pakistan, Aiden Markram insisted that South Africa are extremely keen on adopting a positive and brave approach from ball one in 50-over cricket and added that the side have two great role models in the form of India and England.
"England and India are two of the best ODI teams in the world. The way they're going about their business is certainly a way that works and what needs to be done in order to be up there with the best in the world. It's a brand of cricket we've looked into and discussed this week,” Markram said ahead of the first ODI, reported Cricbuzz.
“Conditions can change that, but generally on the Highveld it is quite good to bat. We've spoken about a positive, brave approach. It's slightly different for our players but I think that's from the mental side of things. Everyone has the ability to be able to walk in and score freely from ball one. It might take a bit of time, but it's certainly part of the discussions we have had."
South Africa have enjoyed success in the 50-over format post the World Cup, drawing a series versus England and whitewashing Australia, but one man who has not featured in the side during this period is Markram. After a disappointing showing in the 2019 World Cup, the right-handed opener was axed from the ODI team and has only been picked on the back of his remarkable red-ball form, for both the Titans and the Proteas. Markram admitted that he did not see the recall coming, but expressed that he was pleased to know that he is still in the country’s white-ball plans.
"I wasn't expecting it at all. I understand that my white-ball game for the Proteas hasn't been where I would like it to be. I'm grateful to be here. I'm glad that the selectors and the coaches still see me in the white-ball plans. It's a step back in the right direction.”
Friday’s game against Pakistan will be a landmark game for the Proteas, as it will see the side be led by their new skipper Temba Bavuma. In the wake of Faf du Plessis stepping down, Quinton de Kock took temporary charge of the white-ball side post the World Cup, but the South African selectors, last month, confirmed that Bavuma will be taking the reins over in both T20 and ODIs. Markram said that the whole squad has incredible respect for Bavuma, who has now been in the Proteas set-up for 7 years.
"It's been amazing to see Temba operate so far this week. The amount of respect that guys have for him in this environment is on another level. I think it makes leading, from his side, a lot easier because of that.
"The whole Proteas environment back them and respect them. I know that the team will be happy to follow and buy into whatever they say."
The first of the three ODIs will be played at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on April 2.