Aiden Markram full of confidence but not getting ahead of himself
Fresh from a big ton in South Africa 'A's drawn four-day game against their Indian counterparts last week‚ Aiden Markram is full of confidence but not getting ahead of himself on the eve of the tour game against the Indian Board President's XI starting in Vizianagaram on Thursday.
SA 'A' were soundly beaten in the first four-day game against India 'A' in Thiruvananthapuram where Markram (nought and four) wasn't among the runs.
In last week's game in Mysore‚ Markram's 161 was the backbone of SA 'A''s 400‚ a much improved batting effort from the first game where they made 164 and 186.
The productive crease time has done wonders for Markram‚ even though he's fully aware that the Test surfaces for the series in Visakhapatnam could be very different next week.
“It was nice to get a few runs‚ but like I mentioned by no means will the wickets play in the same way as they did in the “A” side matches.
"There are always a couple of positives in terms of spending time at the crease and I'm trying to nit-pick at those positives and take as much I can from those knocks‚” Markram said.
“The preparation for the Test series is going to be massive and every little bit going into the series will help.”
The 2015 series in India‚ where the Proteas failed to get going with the bat‚ is still fresh in Markram's mind even though he was still some way off national reckoning at the time.
Batsmen like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla‚ titans of previous tours in India‚ were reduced to walking wickets on pitches that turned from day one in the first and the third Tests in Mohali and Nagpur.
India won the four-match series 3-0.
SA now have a much changed side but the team have a fair bit of experience in the country through the 'A' tours.
Markram remembers the doomed tour vividly but said they can't be worried about uncontrollables like pitch preparation.
“I remember watching that series a few years ago and it looked incredibly difficult.
"There could be a bit of baggage for the guys who were involved‚ they may have difficulty leaving it behind and I think that's completely fine‚” Markram said.
“Tours to the sub-continent are never easy‚ let alone India.
"It's full of challenges but if we can conquer those challenges‚ it's going to be very rewarding.
"We're not going to harp on about conditions.
"We're here now and pretty much know what to expect‚ so it's about getting the job done.”