I'm to blame for South Africa's batting collapse: Aiden Markram

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Aiden Markram

South Africa batsman Aiden Markram has taken the responsibility of his team's collapse in the second innings of the first Test against Pakistan on his own shoulders, The News reported on Sunday.

However, he feels that the gritty fifty he scored has given him confidence. “I lost my wicket so close to stumps. I could have managed to find my way through that and start over.

“It would have helped to settle the change room and allow for us to post a good target. That is the part that I am to blame for,” Markram told a virtual news conference.

“There is a bit that I can take from the knock. There is a bit of confidence after what I have been through dealing in the sub-continent but in an ideal world you would want to kick on but there is that level of confidence that I will try and take it to the next innings,” he said.

Markram hit a solid 74 and had added 127 for the second wicket with Rassie van der Dussen (64) but just before stumps on the third day both of them lost their wickets which dented the visitors’ chance of setting a tough target for Pakistan.

“The first innings looked like a very good batting wicket so to miss out was frustrating but at the end of the day I got a good ball from Shaheen so it’s one of those that you try and brush aside and brush aside and crack on,” he said.

“It was a slightly different innings. It was quite challenging to spend time and not worry about scoring but it was one of those things that had to be done on a wicket like that,” said Markram.

“We had a chance to learn from how the Pakistan batsmen batted in the first innings and just observing how they went about it gave me comfort in the ability to back your defence even in conditions that started to turn. That is one of the things that I brought to my game,” he said.

“By no means I am a finished product but at least it’s a step in the right direction for myself. Obviously there is a lot of learning and growing to do that I have to do in conditions like these,” Markram said.

“From a personal point of view it was about spending time out in the middle and eventually feeling like you could find a way to score so that will be a focus going forward.

“It all comes down to bat, it’s all about making a good start that will allow the change room to relax,” he said.

He said that the collapse issue has been discussed in detail. “We have addressed it,” Markram said. “We want to halt losing wickets in clusters so our thought process is heading in the right line,” he said.

“Now it just comes down to getting it right when it matters and hopefully we can turn it around in the next game,” he said.

“It’s a tough one. We are having conversations to try and get wins under the belt. You also have to understand that we are touring with a lot of new faces and a lot less experienced than we did in the past so that also needs to be taken into consideration,” he said.

“Although it’s not a long series, it’s quite important on tours like these that we don’t make the same mistakes,” he said.

“It was obviously a big moment because we were building a nice partnership and naturally we understood that it would be difficult for a new batsman to come in at that time of day to get through to stumps.

“It was not the case of throwing our wickets away, they put enough balls in the right areas and eventually got their reward. Unfortunately that cluster of wickets fell at the end of the day’s play which put us on the back foot,” he said. “We made a few steps froward but a few steps backward also,” he was quick to add.

Pak vs SA: I'm to blame for 1st Test batting collapse, says Aiden Markram