Aiden Markram speaks about playing against India

‘Playing against India is awesome’

Umid Kumar Dey
Published Date: 12 Jan 2018 | Update :

The first Test between India and South Africa ended up with the home team winning quite comfortably in the end. Aiden Markram, meanwhile, didn’t really have a great outing. He did, however, get a good start in the second innings, scoring 34 before getting out.

Markram enjoyed a great start to his career, scoring two centuries in his first three matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. However, India is the real Test for the youngster—and he himself admits it, claiming that it is a challenge to play against India, given the amount of quality that they have.

"It was a massive step up," Markram was quoted saying on Cricinfo. "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."

Even though his second innings score might not seem too much, he was only a run shy of top-scorer AB de Villiers. His 34 helped the team post a defendable target as he admitted that playing according to the circumstances is what the doctor orders.

"You obviously have a game plan according to wickets, and you might have to adapt on certain pitches. I didn't want to lose the intensity that I bat at - it's something I keep close to me and gauge often.

“I generally feel when I'm batting at the right intensity I move a bit better and my positions are stronger, so that's something I challenge myself to achieve. It starts in training. Luckily we have a great attack to face and it's never easy."

The South African then insisted that they know how the pitches are going to turn up during the series. He emphasized on the importance of playing according to it and are using the day offs to strategise about it.

"We got an insight into how the pitches are going to be in this series," Markram said. "It's about forming a game plan according to that. We've had a couple of days off now to think about that. That's the direction we want to go in, to feel that as batters it's not that we can't score runs here. And look to score, according to how the wicket is going to play.

"Each player needs to adapt his game plan to conditions. It's something your partner needs to understand, and see when you're getting a bit loose. There isn't a fixed blueprint but it's something we're chatting about to keep that positive affirmation happening."

Markram then went on to praise his opening partner Dean Elgar, who he has played with at club level, and has admitted that his presence cools him down.

"He's very experienced now in Test cricket. We've come a long way playing together at the Titans. He helps to calm me down a bit - it's something familiar. There are quite a few unfamiliarities for me so it's nice to have Dean at the other end to calm it all down and make it feel more comfortable."

Finally, he concluded talking about the pitch at Centurion.

"It's a wicket where if you set yourself up as a batter, 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."

Picture credit: Getty Images

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