Aiden Markram compares Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock’s captaincy styles
JOHANNESBURG - While the 2023 World Cup is a focus of the Proteas’ attention it won’t be the primary goal for the players and coaching staff in the series against Pakistan.
Rather, winning will be. And that is understandable. South Africa last played an ODI in March last year when they wrapped up a clean sweep against Australia in Potchefstroom.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened. Tours to India, Sri Lanka and West Indies were indefinitely postponed, and when International cricket did resume, England came and went before the ODI series could take place last November having grown tired after too much golf while complaining about the ‘bio bubble’ measures.
“This feels like the first obstacle on the journey to 2023,” Aiden Markram said about the Pakistan series on Wednesday. The Proteas, led by Temba Bavuma for the first time, will face Babar Azam’s Pakistan side in three ODIs, starting at SuperSport Park on Friday.
“First and foremost we must win series’s and try to instill that culture back into the ODI team. Temba’s a very competitive person, so 2023 is in the back of the minds of the coach and captain. But a lot of focus has been put on getting good results and winning games,” said Markram.
Bavuma spoke earlier this week about using the next few months to create a style of play for the Proteas in the lead up to the next 50-over World Cup.
“For me, it's about trying to define a style of play, create something that makes us accountable, and most importantly, to be able to institute that style of play in any conditions or any occasion,” said the Proteas captain.
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Markram, who’s not played an ODI since the 2019 World Cup, has seen encouraging signs at the side’s training in Centurion this week.
“It’s been amazing to see Temba operate this week. The amount of respect guys have for him in this environment is seriously on another level. It makes leading from his side a lot easier.”
Markram didn’t actually play any limited overs matches when Quinton de Kock was captain, but said it may take a bit of time to adjust to a new style of captaincy.
“Quinny has a great cricket brain and sees the game extremely well from behind the stumps.”
“Temba might vary, in that he’s a little bit more rigid; doing a lot of planning before a game, so that in the game he’s got options to fall back on, whereas I think Quinny is quite a free spirited person and therefore a free spirited captain, and was able to develop plans on the field as they go,” said Markram.
“It’s not that Temba can’t do that, but he’s preparation from a captaincy perspective will be different to Quinny’s.
“Temba’s done well with the Lions and won trophies with them and that speaks volumes about his ability to lead and captain a side well.”
It does provide for an intriguing backdrop to the series. Bavuma will want to stamp his authority on the Proteas as quickly as possible, and he’ll be aided a great deal in that regard if the side can win.