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You get a little bit of faith knowing you’ve done it before at some level: Markram | ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2024

You get a little bit of faith knowing you’ve done it before at some level: Markram

Captaining the Under-19 World Cup in 2014, Markram will get another chance to help the senior team win their first ever World Cup in any format

South Africa started playing white-ball cricket in 1991, post-apartheid, and since then they have been as close as ever to winning a World Cup. They infamously acquired the C tag, but it was in 2014 that the South African U19 team, led by a certain Aiden Markram, won the World Cup.

Ten years later, Markram gets another chance to help the senior team win their first ever World Cup in any format. Does the previous experience help Markram? Yes of course.

‘If I’m completely honest with you, no. It was a long time ago and my memory isn’t great, but you get a little bit of confidence and a little bit of conviction knowing you’ve done it before at some level,” Markram said at the post-match press conference.

“I don’t think it’s quite the same here in men’s cricket but there are similar pressures that you come under when you’re in a final and we experienced that in 2014 as well so whatever little bit of confidence and belief we can get from that we’ll try to make the most of it.”

Markram further claimed that things like reaching the final and their infamous record never crossed their minds as they were too focused on the present.

“No, we honestly haven’t talked about it. I think it is a personal and individual motivation that you make it to the final; to earn the opportunity to hopefully lift the trophy, but we all understand this competition and how it works and things can work out for you, things can go against you, and you take that on your shoulders, so you look back at five months ago, when we didn’t cross the line in that semi-final and you look at tonight, a few things went our way. We managed to win the match and we reached the final.”

This World Cup has been incredibly supportive of the bowlers in the United States and the West Indies. The South African pacers, led by Kagiso Rabada, have managed this situation spectacularly. Markram applauded the effort, adding that their bowling against Afghanistan in the semi-final was exceptional.

“The bowlers have been very good, not just today, but throughout the competition. He probably saved the batters on certain occasions, but I think the circumstances were in their favor. But even if you say that, they still have to get it right. And that’s exactly what they did for us: game-in and game-out.

“So you have to give them a lot of appreciation. They have been very good to us. Tonight was an exceptional performance from the entire bowling unit and the pitch was clearly quite challenging as we saw and. Like I said, you still need to get the ball into the right area so that you give credit to your bowlers. They took advantage of the conditions very well and managed to get us into a winning position,” the 29-year-old added.

However, most of the wickets that South Africa has played have been bowler friendly, but the Trinidad wicket has been quite a challenge to overcome. Afghanistan could not sustain the challenge but to the delight of South Africa, the Barbados surface was a good batting wicket and it is expected that this will remain the same for the final.

“T20 cricket as a whole, you want entertainment. The wickets we’ve had throughout the competition have been quite challenging. Tonight’s wicket was again quite challenging. It’s hard to say a wicket isn’t good because it can’t just be always be a batsman’s game, but I think when we look back at this wicket we’ll probably be quite glad we don’t play here anymore.

“But having said that, we can still take the positives. Wickets are tough. Wickets are the same for both teams on the night, so finding a way to win is probably the most important thing.

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