Proteas

Markram strengthens case for Proteas Test captaincy but 'hasn't given it much thought'

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Aiden Markram
Aiden Markram
Isuru Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images
  • Aiden Markram is considered a possible option for the Proteas Test captaincy. 
  • Now 26, Markram played a knock of class and maturity in Rawalpindi on Monday. 
  • He insists, though, that he has not given the captaincy much thought.

Opener Aiden Markram says he hasn't given too much thought to the prospect of being South Africa's next Test captain.

The 26-year-old was at his majestic best in the Proteas' second innings of the second Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi and technically flawless as he carved out 108 (243) during a 337-minute stay at the crease. 

It was not enough to stop the Proteas going down by 95 runs on Monday to lose the series 2-0, but it was an innings of the highest quality and one that reminded exactly why Markram has spent the bulk of his professional career so highly rated. 

And while he has more than solidified his position in South Africa's top order now, Markram is still considered by many to be a logical option to become the Proteas' next permanent Test captain. 

This innings will have done his chances no harm in that regard, but with Australia having cancelled their three-Test tour to South Africa next month, the Proteas could only be playing red-ball cricket again towards the end of the year. 

It means that there is no need for Mark Boucher, Graeme Smith and the rest of the national brains trust to make any rash decisions. 

What is becoming increasingly clear, however, is that the Test captaincy might not be for Quinton de Kock. 

Already South Africa's skipper in both white ball formats, De Kock was handed the Test captaincy on an interim basis ahead of the two-Test home series against Sri Lanka over the festive season (the Proteas won 2-0) and that extended into Pakistan.

De Kock was also expected to lead against Australia, but with that series no longer taking place, the conversation around who will captain South Africa in their next Test will start gathering momentum again. 

Ahead of the Pakistan series, Boucher explained that he was looking for somebody to "stand up" and make a statement around the future Test captaincy position. 

Other candidates in the conversation are Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen, but in terms of performance in Pakistan, it was Markram who made the loudest noise. 

His credentials for the role have surely been enhanced as a result of the composure and maturity he showed on this tour, but he says it is not something he has stressed over. 

"I haven't given it too much thought. I don't think four Test matches this season all of a sudden allows a player to think along those lines," was his sober-minded assessment at the post-match press conference on Monday.

"It's something that I would naturally enjoy doing, but it's certainly not something I've given much time of day to.

"My job is ultimately to score runs and win games, so that's still the focus for me.

"It's difficult to say what is going to happen, so I'll just take it day by day."

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