“I am surprised the South African selectors have not given Aiden Markram a crack at international cricket yet,” says Robin Peterson, former South African left-arm spinner.
The Multiply Titans opener Markram is shortlisted as Cricket South Africa Newcomer of the Year.
Peterson says the 22-year-old opener has a wide range of shots and can play the dual role of patient accumulator or relentless attacker.
“I like the style in which Aiden bats. He is very competitive and very attacking.
“He has power and touch. He can knock it around or whack it a mile,” says Peterson.
Markram’s 2016/17 statistics are remarkable. He hammered 565 runs at an average of 51.35 in the Sunfoil Series.
In the Momentum One Day Cup, the right-hander broke the record for the highest individual score in a 50-over domestic showpiece when he smashed 183 against the bizhub Highveld Lions.
His 508 runs were accumulated, or rather, blasted, at an average of 56.44.
Markram was domestically well-known before he played in his first full Franchise season for the Multiply Titans. He captained the South African Under 19 Cricket World Cup winning team in 2014.
He had to bide his time in the amateur team while others, like Henry Davids, Heino Kuhn and Dean Elgar got the nod as openers for the Titans.
Peterson says Elgar and Markram are quality openers in tandem. “Dean is more selective in his stroke-making, while Markram possesses a wider range.”
Ray Jennigs, Markram’s Under 19 World Cup coach added: “He is very mature and level-headed. He is able to make good decisions.”
"Talent is overrated; you must be able to be wise enough to play the right shot at the right time, and he has got that.
“When you sit next to him, you realize he has the mood and the temperament of a fighter.”
Jason Smith and Wiaan Mulder are the other two players shortlisted for the Newcomer of the Year. Both are all-rounders, and Albie Morkel, limited-overs captain of the Multiply Titans, believes Markram is more than a part-time spinner.
The right-armer took eight wickets in the Momentum One-Day Cup with 2-28 his most impressive figures.