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Dev Tyagi ∙ Updated: Oct 28 2023, 11:03 AM | 3 Min Read

How Has Aiden Markram Quite Simply Altered His Game For The Protea Cause?

image-lo9j71heAiden Markram during PAK vs SA (AP Photos)

There was a moment in the 35th over of the run chase against Pakistan where it just seemed that Aiden Markram wasn’t able to make it. 

What was worse is that he was seen attempting a wild heave at a Md. Wasim's delivery, which left him totally clueless—a delivery he’d rather have watchfully left.  

For a moment, with the game still hanging in balance as South Africa needed a little over 4.5 an over with all the top five back, you felt as though Markram was tired. 

Sweat oozed from his jersey, akin to water falling at the Howick Falls right by the Umgeni River. 

But on the very next delivery, the same right-hander who’d appeared clueless moments ago struck one straight down the ground for a boundary.  

It was as if the tables had been turned and the Pakistan bowlers had their backs against the wall, or, should one say, Markram? 

In the end, his defiant, very stoic 91 that came off just 93 was the giver of momentum to a team that, in turn, gives that to the great game of cricket.

At times, Markram seems to slog the medium pacers, only to lose the plot. On most other occasions, he seems like a piece of art.

Four years ago, during the tumultuous and equally disappointing South African campaign of the 2019 ODI World Cup, Markram played what was perhaps the shot of the tournament from a South African perspective.

Others and those weren’t ordinary names, had their notable moments. 

For instance, Quinton de Kock opened the Proteas’ dam spin versus England with a typically intent-driven 68. Faf struck the only century that came from the bat of a South African.

But it was Markram, riding high on self-confidence, who executed the most breathtaking cover drive off Hazlewood in the memorable game against the Australians. In the early moments of that famous batting performance versus the Aussies, Markram leaned beautifully onto one particular Josh Hazlewood delivery around the off stump merely pushing it with the ideal head and elbow position. It wasn’t just a stroke; it was an artist exhibiting supreme craftsmanship.

Four years later, the venue changed, but not Aiden Markram’s confidence and intent.

One of the questions they’d love to think of, hopefully, well after the ongoing World Cup campaign is over, is whether Aiden Markram played what could well be a decisive World Cup knock for his team.

It wasn’t a three-figure knock wow. But it was a telling reminder that the World Cup dreams are perhaps over South Africa’s most recent opponent, who seemed much like a bug to be crushed.

For a batsman who had been labelled promising but inconsistent, determined but reckless, the Aiden Markram of the present is grace under pressure. He is the spark of the Protea fire.

And he’s been in the kind of form his time will hope only gets even better in the next game or two. Lest it be forgotten, in Proteas’s much-needed win against the Bangladesh unit, Aiden Markram made 60.

Furthermore, during his team’s rout of the English at the Wankhede, the very Aiden Markram made a quickfire 42.

And here he is: fresh off an inning that could, in the context of a South African squad, provide ample proof that these eleven men could indeed create some great memories. They’d hope that those are of a lifetime. But the one who’ll be required to bat akin to a Michelangelo with the cricket bat will, undoubtedly, be a certain Aiden Markram.

A batsman like few others; a dignified trier one would quite like to be!