After suffering a series loss of 5-1 to India, South Africa captain Aiden Markram expressed disappointment over the way his side performed in the six-match ODI series. Asserting that the silver lining is that something like this happened now rather than two or three months before the World Cup 2019 begins.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Markram said, “Obviously we have taken a step back because results-wise and performance-wise we haven’t moved forward. But having said that I’d rather it happened now than two or three months before the World Cup starts or during the World Cup.”
When asked about the lessons learned by the Proteas side, a thoughtful Markram said, “So there are lessons we can learn, but the most important thing is not to make the same mistakes going forward. I did feel during the series that we made mistakes from previous games, so we didn’t learn well from our lessons. It’s crucial now that we dig into what went wrong and rectify it so it doesn’t happen again in the future.”
He further added, “If you look at how they set their innings up, there was always one of the top three in for the 40th over, and that’s crucial in this format.”
Praising the Indian bowling attack, he said, “Their bowlers controlled the middle period well. They’ve got two good quality spinners and they strike up front with the new ball. They tick all their boxes and we’re going to work hard to do the same thing.”
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The stand-in South African skipper also had a word of praise for his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli who slammed his third century of the series at Centurion on Friday. He said, “His desperation to win games for his side is massive, and that’s why he conducts himself like he does.”
Markram signed off by expressing the learnings from Kohli, he said, “It’s all from a competitive point of view, it’s nothing malicious. That desperation is shown when he bats – he doesn’t just get his side close to the line, he gets them over it, as we saw again tonight. So there are a lot of things I can learn from him. There are a lot of things I can learn from their team as a whole, and from us as a whole. I’m taking little pieces from here and there.”