Aiden Markram says Proteas won’t try to match England’s ‘Bazball’

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Johannesburg – Aiden Markram said the Proteas would not attempt to copy England’s thrilling ‘Bazball’ method, in the three-match Test series between the sides that starts at Lord’s next Wednesday.

The Proteas have been given a taste of what to expect during a four day tour match against England’s second string outfit, the Lions in Canterbury this week.

The Lions, notched up 672 in their first innings, scoring those runs at a rate of 5.74 an over. The players were following the instructions of the England coach Brendon McCullum, who met the team before the match and encouraged them to mimic the way the senior team has been playing of late.

England have successfully chased targets in excess of 250 runs in each of their last four Tests, including a remarkable 378/3 against India last month.

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Markram acknowledged that there was a danger that an opposing team could fall into the trap of trying to match England, but the South Africans were wary of doing so.

“I don’t think we should try and replicate it. We’ve got our own brand that has been successful for us and we’ve got to back that,” said Markram.

“I don’t see our team falling into a trap of playing the same way that they play.”

Harry Brook, a 23-year-old from Yorkshire who was included in England’s squad for the first two Tests, scored 140 off just 170 balls, with Ben Duckett adding 145 off 168, to illustrate how McCullum’s method is making an impact.

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“We’ve had chats about not falling into that trap, backing the way that we play, especially with bat in hand. We’ll keep training our game plans and hopefully it works well.”

While South Africa’s style hasn’t been quite as adventurous, the Proteas have won three of their  last four series and drawn the other.

“There’s lots of experience in our side. It’s inexperience that can lead into that trap,” said Markram. “We’ve had chats about it, we will play our own way and see how it unfolds after that.”

South Africa will resume on 59/3 on Friday, still trailing the England Lions by 180 runs.



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