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T20 World Cup 2024: Aiden Markram seeks to build WC on South Africa junior success

Updated on: 30 May,2024 08:56 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, coach Walter said he had picked bowlers who he believed could strike wickets in crucial times. The team's fastest bowler, Anrich Nortje is a key player, but he struggled to deliver performances in the IPL 2024 and against the Caribbeans after returning from a long-term stress fracture

T20 World Cup 2024: Aiden Markram seeks to build WC on South Africa junior success

Aiden Markram (Pic: File Pic)

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Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, Aiden Markram has an advantage which no other South African captain has had before. The 2014 U-19 World Cup is the only global trophy won by South Africa. Ten years is a long time in cricket and Markram is well aware of the fact that there's a difference between the junior tournament and the T20 World Cup 2024 in which he is set to lead the Protas' pack.


The T20 World Cup 2024 is set to start in June and will be hosted by the USA and the West Indies.


"There aren't so many eyes watching you in an age-group tournament, and as a youngster you are maybe a bit oblivious to pressure," Markram told AFP in a telephone interview. "Back then it was just a matter of handling what was in front of you. Now there is a lot more planning and preparation and making sure everyone is in a good space. 


Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: Greatest comebacks, rivalries and farewells

"A World Cup is a massive event but I'm fortunate to have been to quite a few so I know what to expect. One thing that hasn't changed is that I'm excited to be part of it," he said. 

In the 2014 U-19 World Cup, Markram scored 370 runs with a strike rate of 123.33, following which he was also named as the "Player of the Tournament." Along with Markram, lead pacer Kaiso Rabada is the only teammate from the U-19 World Cup-winning team. He is the side's leading wicket-taker and destroyer of Australia's teenagers in the semi-finals.

Markram acknowledges that South Africa's T20 results since he and coach Rob Walter took charge early last year have been less than impressive.

Under Aiden Markram's captaincy, the Proteas managed to secure wins in just two matches out of eight, all played at home. Last week, with Markram and six other IPL 2024 absent players, the side faced defeat in all three matches against the West Indies.

South Africa will enter the T20 World Cup 2024 with a lowly seventh on the International Cricket Council rankings. But Markram believes the results don't tell the full story, with South Africa seldom fielding a full-strength team as they managed workloads and gave opportunities to new players. "We've got a good team," he said.

South Africans have a dept in their batting lineup with the likes of Markram himself, Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller. Additionally, the star of the recently concluded IPL 2024, Tristan Stubbs is also named in the SA's World Cup squad. Among these, only De Kock has played against West Indies.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, coach Walter said he had picked bowlers who he believed could strike wickets in crucial times. The team's fastest bowler, Anrich Nortje is a key player, but he struggled to deliver performances in the IPL 2024 and against the Caribbeans after returning from a long-term stress fracture. 

"He had a massive injury and a lot of time away from the game but we all back him and know what he can do," said Markram. The South Africa captain, along with Klaasen and Marco Jansen, only arrived at the team's training base in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday night after being involved in the IPL final in Chennai on Sunday. "You get used to it," he said of the travel. "It's a reality for a lot of players these days. "In a way it is quite nice to get straight into training and getting ready for Monday. Sri Lanka have a great T20 team and it's important to get off to a good start."

(With AFP Inputs)

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