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‘No need to panic yet’, says Markram

South Africa’s Aiden Markram reacts after dropping a catch against Australia in their T20 World Cup opener. Picture: Reuters, Hamad I Mohammed

Aiden Markram doesn’t feel that the Proteas are in such dire straits at the moment and has the firm belief that they can turn around their campaign in Dubai.

DUBAI – “There’s no need to panic just yet.”

That’s the message from Aiden Markram ahead of the Proteas crunch World T20 clash against the West Indies on Tuesday.

The Proteas slumped to a five-wicket defeat to Australia in their opening game in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, which has left them with precious little room to manoeuvre in Pool 1, which has been labelled the “Group of Death” here in the United Arab Emirates.

Markram was part of the Proteas squad that slid downhill at an alarming rate during the 50-overs World Cup back in 2019 after a couple of early defeats in the tournament. He doesn’t feel that the Proteas are in such dire straits at the moment and has the firm belief that they can turn around their campaign in Dubai.

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“I think from what I saw in the dressing room after the game the spirit is still quite high. We understand from a batting point of view we fell short,” said Markram, who top-scored for the Proteas with a 36-ball 40.

South Africa’s Aiden Markram top scored for his team against Australia. Picture: EPA, David Gray

“But there are so many positives from a bowling side of things if our bowlers keep doing that and us batters rock up to the party we are going to be in for some good game.

“There is no need to panic just yet as we have been playing good T20 cricket and for us to get it down to the last two balls showed how good our bowling attack is.”

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The Proteas certainly battled valiantly with the ball and in the field, but the batting unit simply has to raise their level of performance if Temba Bavuma’s team are to have any chance at this global jamboree.

They can at least take solace from the fact that the Windies suffered an ever greater loss to England in their opening game, with defending champions rolled for a record low 55.

Furthermore, the Proteas also recently completed a series win over the Windies in the Caribbean.

“I think there is a bit of confidence we can take. But we still have to respect them as a team. We need to rock up and play our best game because that is what it’s going to come down to,” Markram said.

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The Caribbean triumph was based largely on the Proteas spinners suffocating the Windies power-hitters by not offering them any freebies and with Kieron Pollard’s team inclined not to look for singles in-between. The dot balls piled up every quickly which exerted pressure on the entire batting line-up.

This was evident during the England game too with off-spinner Moeen Ali delivering a Player of the Match performance through a couple of crucial strikes upfront.

This could possibly lend itself to a change in the line-up with left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin due for a recall after missing out against Australia.


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