Jennings backs Markram to recover from horror tour

2018-08-07 20:34
Aiden Markram (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former South Africa U19 coach Ray Jennings believes Aiden Markram will get through his current lean patch and become a better batsman because of the experience.

After a fabulous start to his Test career, which saw him score four centuries in 12 games, the 23-year-old Markram has had a wretched tour of Sri Lanka with the bat.

The right-hander has been exposed against the home team's spinners on the slow tracks and has not scored more than 20 in eight innings in Sri Lanka.

Markram's lack of runs saw him dropped for the third ODI against Sri Lanka with his replacement Reeza Hendricks hitting a century on debut as the Proteas sealed a series win with two games to spare.

READ: De Kock, Duminy to lead Proteas for rest of Sri Lanka tour

Jennings, who was the SA U19 coach when Markram captained the team to World Cup success in 2014, said the player just needs adjust to the pressures of being in his first slump in form.

In quotes published on ESPNCricinfo, Jennings said: "He had a bit of a honeymoon period when he first started in international cricket and this is his first bad patch.

"He needs to come to grips with the pressure that comes with that. He hasn't ever experienced before what he is going through at the moment.

"When he goes through another bad patch in three or four years time, he will know what to expect."

Markram was dismissed by veteran Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath in all four innings of the Test series and was then twice removed by Akila Dananjaya in the first two ODIs before he was dropped.

Some may argue that Markram has a technical flaw against spin that needs to be corrected but Jennings feels it is more a mindset problem.

"Technique is not the only thing. He plays fast bowling better than spin but he has already shown that he has enough technique to perform at this level. Now it's about mindset," Jennings continued.

"Is his mindset tense or relaxed? If it's relaxed, the feet will move and he will be watching the ball. If it's tense, the feet can get stuck, there will be a lot of emotions involved."

The fourth ODI against Sri Lanka takes place at Pallekele on Wednesday. The match is scheduled to start at 11:00 (SA time).

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  proteas  |  aiden markram  |  ray jennings  |  cricket


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