Leading SA in 2018 vs India was unexpected: Markram

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 03, 2024 IST

Aiden Markram

New Delhi, June 3: It was not only former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, who was assigned to lead the Proteas at a vey young age. Even Aiden Markram, who is leading the Africans in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, had a similar responsibility in 2018

It was in the home series against India in 2018, when Markram was asked to lead he Proteas in the six-match ODI series, when Virat Kohli led India to a 5-1 series win.

Markram is all set to lead South Africa team that is "definitely hungry" to get that first T20 World Cup trophy. On the eve of their opening encounter of the showpiece event, the 29-year-old reflected on his first game as Proteas captain and admitted that it was "completely unexpected" for him.

He was only 23 when he was tasked with the captaincy of South Africa in the second game of the six-match home ODI series against India in 2018. The side went on to lose 1-5 against Kohli-led Team India.

Markram talked about how he does not have any regrets about that series and said he was grateful for the opportunity. "I'd never regret taking captaincy for your national team. At the moment it was obviously not the best series for us as a team, but if you look at it in hindsight, that's why I'm grateful, because I was able to learn," Markram said to Star Sports.

Makram is the first South African captain to lead his team to a mega event, having won the 2014 U-19 World Cup.

"It was fantastic to be honest. Completely unexpected, obviously, getting the captaincy then, but the learning that was able to take place from going through that experience of that series was great. Obviously, at the time it was not ideal, having lost badly, but you look at it in hindsight and you almost become grateful for that. I learned quite a bit through that series and had some really awesome senior players guiding me while I was out there as well, which sort of helps you grow a lot as a captain and as a player," added the 29-year-old.

South Africa will play their first match in the T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka on Monday at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. This will be a Group D fixture which also includes Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Nepal.

Markram said the team is excited and geared up to chase their first ICC title glory in the T20 World Cup.

"For the time being, we're trying to achieve something we haven't achieved before. So, I don't think that brings too much extra pressure. I think it brings a bit more excitement and energy to the team. But we'd love to get that first elusive one, of course. I believe that we have the team to do so. But I don't think it adds too much more pressure. Guys are definitely really hungry to get that first one," concluded the Proteas captain.

South Africa will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Monday at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

The Proteas have never won any ICC World Cup, or the World Test Championship. Can Markram change South Africa's fortunes this time? 

If that can come true, the very much deserving and capable Africans will finally have a great sigh of relief and their decades old jinx in multi-nation ICC tournaments will end. (With IANS support)

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