With their 8 wicket win in the 6th ODI at Centurion, team India sealed a historic 5-1 win against the hosts South Africa. Only the 2nd time in the history a team has been able to defeat the Proteas 5-1 in a bilateral ODI series. However, it would be fair to say that this wasn’t the stronger South African squad, they went into the first 3 games without AB de Villiers and then lost both Faf du Plessis and De Kock after the first 2 ODI’s. Following the injuries to these senior players, the captaincy was handed over to Aiden Markram.
The Under-19 World Cup winning captain Aiden Markram took charge of the depleted South African hoping to turn around the series but in the end, his team were mauled 5-1 in the series. On the other hand, Indian captain Virat Kohli has been in fine touch through-out the series. The 29-year-old not only ended the test series as the highest run-scorer but managed to break quite a few records with his performances in the ODI series, where he ended up with 558 runs including 3 centuries and 1fifty.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Aiden Markram was full of praise for his counterpart and the role he played in taking India over the line over and over again. He said, as reported by NDTV Sports,
“Kohli’s desperation to win games for his side is massive. And that’s why he condemns himself (on mistakes) like he does. It’s all from a competitive point of view and it’s nothing malicious. That desperation shows when he bats – he doesn’t just gets his side close to the line, he gets them over it.”
Markram made his international debut late last year and is of the firm opinion that there is still a lot that he needs to learn about the game and leadership. He believes that watching Kohli, he can learn a lot from him not only regarding leading the national side but also the intent with which he bats.
“So there are a lot of things I can learn from him (Kohli). He made a massive difference. He is obviously in incredible touch and showing it. His hunger for runs and desperation to finish games is up there with the very best, and that’s why he is one of the best players in the world.” the opener said.
The series wasn’t the perfect start for Markram as a captain and many are pointing to the result as being embarrassing. However, he is quick to point that embarrassing might be too harsh a word to use. The management and the squad were always aware of the difficulties they would be facing when taking on a world class outfit like India.
The 23-year-old Aiden Markram said,
“Embarrassed is quite a harsh word (in terms of series result). Obviously, we were not up to the standard we would have liked to be. We are really disappointed as a squad. I would’t want to say we re embarrassed.
“It was always going to be tough. It was something I was looking forward to and a challenge that I enjoy. I can still say that sitting here having lost a series 5-1, it was a responsibility that I enjoy. I learnt a lot and at this stage of my career and that s not a bad thing.”
Aiden Markram is not part of the South African T20 squad that is preparing to take on India in a 3-match series starting from Sunday (17th February) in Johannesburg.