Ray Jennings, former head coach of the South African Cricket team, has come up with the suggestion to make Aiden Markram the captain of the Proteas in Test Cricket, replacing Faf du Plessis.
Du Plessis stepped down as captain of the Test and limited overs’ teams earlier this year and while Cricket South Africa made it clear that Quinton de Kock replaced him as the new leader only in the shorter formats, they are yet to announce who will take up the role as the new leader in red-ball cricket. Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar are strong contenders for the responsibility at the moment.
Markram, who led the U19 Proteas team to World Cup glory at the United Arab Emirates in 2014, is also seen as a possible replacement for Du Plessis, having captained the Proteas in ODI cricket in the past as well.
In an interview to Netwerk24, Jennings, who was the coach of that U19 World Cup winning South African team, said, “A captain should find his purpose. Fans should be hanging on his lips and he should almost be like a famous and likeable politician. Aiden Markram is sincere and soft and is a very good speaker. I believe people will find purpose in him.”
Ray Jennings, who is also the father of England opener Keaton, continued, “It is almost as if Mark Boucher should find himself a wife again when the new captain gets decided upon. He already worked with Markram at the Titans and that will count a lot. The captain should be a good person and that’s why Markram is in the front of the queue for me.”
“Although Markram’s form with the bat was not the best before he got injured, every batsmen goes through a difficult phase with their batting at some stage. Even if it means Boucher and his coaching staff let him bat at 5 or 6 in the order, instead of opening the innings, as long as his leadership abilities can be used.”
Markram has been struggling for runs in the last one year and suffered a rather comical but unfortunate wrist injury during the Proteas’ troubled tour of India last year, banging his fist to the wall, before breaking his thumb during the first Test against England in Centurion in the month of December.
He did, however, enjoy a rewarding return to the game earlier this year when he scored some decent runs for the Titans during the domestic One Day Cup competition.