Proteas

'Hungry' Proteas ready to hit the ground running, says Markram

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Aiden Markram
Aiden Markram
Isuru Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images
  • Aiden Markram says that the Proteas are putting some plans into place to combat the unpredictable Sri Lankan side.
  • When the sides last met in Test cricket, Sri Lanka caused a stunning upset to claim a 2-0 series win in South Africa.
  • The Proteas take on Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series with the first Test starting on Saturday.

In February last year, Sri Lanka made history by stunning the Proteas in their own backyard by securing a 2-0 series win.

They became the first subcontinent team to claim a series win on South African shores.

This week, the Proteas look to move on from that defeat ahead of the opening Test at Centurion on Saturday.

Aiden Markram - who was part of that 2019 Proteas side - stated that the team have spoken in length about that series defeat.

"We definitely touched on what happened the last time they were here," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's hard to pin-point a reason why we went 2-0 down but at the end of the day, our skills weren't up to scratch and we didn't perform well enough to win the series."

Markram revealed that the Proteas are putting plans together to combat Mickey Arthur's side.

"If I'm not mistaken, the (Sri Lanka) squad is similar to the previous series so we've been fortunate enough to face them... It will be a big challenge for us. They were certainly a handful the last time we faced them," said Markram.

"We are in the process of putting plans together to hopefully combat that and we understand it's going to be a challenge with bat and ball, especially in the Highveld where there's pace and bounce.

"It's exciting, we need to bat for longer periods of time, get a lot of runs on the board and put them under pressure."

This will be the Proteas' first Test match since 26 January when they lost their third-consecutive Test against England at the Wanderers.

South Africa have only won two of their last 10 Tests and they are yet to register a Test win in three matches in 2020.

Markram believes that if they can hit the ground running and put performances on the board, the Proteas could return to winning ways. 

"I think a big positive is that we haven't played Test cricket in a while so the hunger levels are up for every player in the camp," said Markram, who has played 20 Tests so far

"It's about putting performances on the board, that's how we're going to get results, certain individuals have a responsibility to go big and put the team in the winning position... It's about getting ourselves into positions where we can win the game. If we hit the ground running and put on performances, hopefully that allow us to win the game."

READ | Markram eager to cement Proteas place, Test captaincy not on his radar

Markram, who has been in fine form for the Titans this season, insisted that his main priority is to secure a place in starting XI and spend as much time at the crease.

"I'm moving well and things are starting to get back to where they were 18 months ago. I'm not going to think too much on form as I think it's important to start level again against Sri Lanka - if selected," said Markram.

"My focus is about batting time in Test match cricket and spending time at the crease and working things out in the middle."

Play on Saturday starts at 10:00.

 

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