South Africa batsman Aiden Markram called the team to lift their intensity levels ahead of the One Day International series against Australia after being thrashed by four-wickets in a warm-up match at the hands of Australia Prime Minister's XI on Wednesday (October 31).
Markram further went on to claim that the Proteas were a touch rusty and that was the reason behind their poor show in the practice match, as he (47) and David Miller (45) were the only two batsmen from the touring side who have made decent contributions to their total of 173.
Following the match, Markram told reporters here, “We got here two nights ago, so I don't think it's too much of an excuse. We had an optional training session yesterday and guys have had the chance to rest up and find their feet here. The timezone is a little different than ours, but I don't think it's the reason behind us not delivering the goods today. We were a touch rusty and maybe not at the right intensity level, so we'll turn it up a notch going into the first ODI.”
He further added on his batting, “It's nice to spend a little bit of time out in the middle. As a batter, it's never enough runs. And in that sort of situation of the game, it would have been ideal for me to kick on and drag the partnership on with Dave [Miller]. Not entirely happy about getting out, but looking back at it, happy to have spent a little bit of time out there.”
Commenting on veteran pacer Dale Steyn, he added, “It's always good to see Dale [Steyn] swinging the ball at a good speed. Positive sign for us. I've got no doubt he'll lead our young attack and make it nice and exciting. With the ball, we were there and we were always asking good questions. And it's important to be able to do that for 50 overs. On the bowling side, we were decent tonight.”
He is also looking forward to playing in the extremely exciting One Day series in Australia starting with the first ODI of the three-match series in Perth on November 4, as it will lift their intensity level and will be reality check ahead of the World Cup 2019 in England.
Markram signed off by saying, “It's extremely exciting. An ODI series against Australia will lift the intensity levels, it will lift the excitement levels, and generally, it brings out performances and guys putting their hands up. We're looking forward to that. I don't think there's an easy game in international cricket, and especially not against Australia. We're going to have to be on it come to the first ODI and be at the right intensity level to deliver the goods.”