Cricket World Cup: File image of Aiden Markram© AFP
South Africa’s stand-in captain Aiden Markram on Monday admitted to his side’s poor showing against Bangladesh in recent times but asserted that they can beat the ‘Tigers’ if they replicate their dominant form shown during the massive win over defending champions England. Bangladesh have beaten South Africa in three of the last four ODIs between the two teams, including a 21-run win in the 2019 World Cup. The Tigers are seeking to resurrect their World Cup campaign following three straight defeats.
“Whenever you play Bangladesh, it is obviously a massive game for us. We have not done particularly well against them in the past, so that is extra motivation for us to come out and replicate what was a good performance against England,” Markram told the media ahead of South Africa’s World Cup clash against Bangladesh on Tuesday.
“The game (against England) was a good one for us. But you still have to respect the fact that it is a new game of cricket and against opposition that has become a really good white-ball team. Then put them in subcontinental conditions, obviously that aids them very well as well,” Markram added.
He said South Africa will guard against complacency even though they have registered one-sided wins over England and Sri Lanka in this World Cup.
“We have to respect that fact (that) you can never take form as an individual or as a team for granted,” Markram said.
“And it is about us coming here with positive mindsets, taking confidence that we can take, but understanding that we have to replicate that all again to hopefully get a good result,” he added.
Asked if it’s the right time to play against Bangladesh, Markram said nobody can guarantee a positive result.
“I do not think you can ever say it is the perfect time to play anyone. We all have seen in this World Cup that any team can beat any team on a given day and if you do not respect that fact, I think the game of cricket can really hurt you,” Markram said.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) is an opportunity for us to take a bit of confidence that we took from England, but ultimately to try to replicate it. That is the challenge and that is what we are striving towards.” “If we bring the right attitudes and the right intensities, we feel we give ourselves a good chance.” Markram said South Africa have had a ‘rude awakening’ in terms of conditions experienced here on Saturday even though they crushed England by a massive 229 runs.
“I do certainly think our previous game here was a bit of a rude awakening. We always knew it was going to be hot and humid coming to India in general, and especially Mumbai and places like Chennai,” Markram said.
“It was quite brutal the other night, so most of the guys have got their feet up but there are still one or two just ticking a few boxes and making sure that mentally they go into tomorrow feeling ready,” he added.
Temba Bavuma missed the clash against England and Markram was non-committal when asked if the regular captain will be available for the Bangladesh match.
“He (Bavuma) is definitely improving. There has not been a final call just yet on him. I think they are going to make the call tomorrow (Tuesday). But he is at least in better spirits,” said Markram.
Heinrich Klaasen spent most of the time sleeping and recovering after his match-winning century against England over the last two days but Markram hoped that the wicketkeeper-batter would be itching to have a go again.
“He certainly was manned down. Like I mentioned, the conditions were pretty brutal. He did a lot of hard work for us out there and I think it took quite a lot out of him. He pulled up nicely after the game,” Markram said.
“The body was really sore and he was quite fatigued. But he has been trying to get treatment and rest yesterday and very much, so the same today, in order to get himself good. He is quite a tough guy and he’ll be itching to go again,” he added.
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