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Veteran South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has admitted that he has been “very impressed” with Aiden Markram’s style of captaincy.
Markram was handed the leadership role for the ongoing ODI series against India after Faf du Plessis was ruled out for the remainder of the limited overs series after fracturing his right index finger during the first ODI in Durban.
With India already having secured their first-ever bilateral ODI series win in South Africa, Markram has been criticised for failing to lead by example with the bat as he has scored 103 runs in the first five matches at an average of 20.60.
However, Amla has come to the defence of the 23-year-old as he was quoted by Sowetan Live as saying: “I have been very impressed with how he goes about his business on the field because he is composed and he has a good idea of what he likes.
“Obviously as a captain if you don’t score runs the first thing it gets attributed to is the captaincy. It happened to me but he is still young at international cricket and this is a great opportunity for him to captain the senior national team.
“I am sure he has learned a lot from batting and captaining at this level. He will only get better because he is a world class player.
“He got starts in this series and did not go on to score big‚ but I have no doubt that over time he will get better because he is a quality player.”
Meanwhile, Amla also conceded that South Africa’s top order has failed to live up to expectations and has also come up short to find an answer on how to combat India’s spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
In the five ODIs that have been played, Kuldeep has taken 16 wickets at an average of 11.56, while Chahal has claimed 14 wickets at an average of 16.
The 34-year-old added that the Proteas are sorely missing Du Plessis and Quinton de Kock, who has also been ruled out for the remainder of the limited overs series with a wrist injury. Batsman AB de Villiers was also unavailable for the first three matches as he was nursing a finger injury.
“The top six has not managed to score big hundreds‚ clicked or get the momentum‚” he said. “We have managed to get decent starts but their spinners have bowled well and they have been better.
“We also missed the influence of Du Plessis‚ Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers‚ who were not available at some stages of the series. Faf has been a brilliant captain and one of our most consistent performers in this ODI team and it has been a huge loss not having the guys around.
“But in saying that‚ it has given opportunities to other guys on the peripheries with the vision of the 2019 World Cup.”