Markram seeks ‘more complete game’ from Proteas

AIDEN Markram and Co are planning to possibly play two spinners against the US tomorrow. IANS

AIDEN Markram and Co are planning to possibly play two spinners against the US tomorrow. IANS

Published Jun 18, 2024


Ongama Gcwabe

WHEN you have Quinton de Kock’s power at the top of the batting order paired with Reeza Hendricks’ elegance, a rock-solid Aiden Markram at three, followed by Heinrich Klaasen’s brute strength, Tristan Stubbs’ versatility and David Miller’s nerves of steel in one line-up, one would expect consistent 200-plus totals.

However, it just hasn’t been the case for South Africa as they have put up 115 against Nepal, 113 against Bangladesh and 106 against the Netherlands in the tournament so far.

In their defence, the conditions in New York and St Vincent and the Grenadines have not been conducive to batting.

With South Africa set to get the Super Eight stage of the competition started tomorrow when they play co-hosts USA at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, the batters will have to find ways to put together competitive totals for the team to have a shot at the illusive trophy.

Proteas captain Markram emphasised that the Super Eight calls for a well-rounded performance where batters come to the party just as much as the bowlers have done in the group stages.

“We are looking forward to that phase now of the competition, (we’re) really grateful that we are in the Super Eights and hope that we can put a more complete game of cricket together now that we move forward to the business end of the competition,” said Markram.

“(Winning the T20 World Cup) is a dream. You want to take it game by game and compete as hard and as best as you can and ultimately see where it gets you.”

Despite the low totals, the bowling attack has somehow been able to find ways to win games for the team. The fact that the attack is not dependant on one bowler tells of the healthy state the bowling unit is in at the moment.

Over the weekend, Tabraiz Shamsi came off the bench replacing Keshav Maharaj – whose heroic last over against Bangladesh saw the team get over the line – and delivered a Player of the Match performance with a 4/19 return in the one-run victory against Nepal.

KESHAV Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi could start against the US in the Proteas’ first Super Eight match tomorrow. IANS

Shamsi’s performance and the spin-friendly wickets that have been on display in the Caribbean thus far have sparked a new approach that the South Africans might explore moving on in the tournament.

Markram and coach Rob Walter might consider playing both Maharaj and Shamsi and drop a fast bowler to take full advantage of the conditions.

“Shamsi was excellent,” said Markram.

“It’s fantastic to have him back in the team, to get an opportunity, to get some time in the middle and to bowl the way he did.

“From a bowling point of view, not too many concerns, but a lot of learnings could take place in the other two facets.

“Moving forward, if conditions are going to be like that (spin-friendly), we’d love to pick the both of them.

“I’ve explained the reason behind the switch between the two of them was to give Shamo (Shamsi) some game-time, but if wickets are going to play like that then we back the two of them to be in our XI and to make massive impact for us,” he added.

South Africa face England on Friday before they conclude the Super Eight stage with a fixture against West Indies on June 24.

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