Aiden Markram says the Proteas have worked hard to prepare themselves for spinning conditions in Sri Lanka.
The Proteas face Sri Lanka in their sixth Test series. After a perfect home summer with series wins against India and Australia, the Proteas now aim to continue their form overseas.
The Proteas were very much exposed against India when it came to facing spin and there is no better practice ground than the subcontinent to improve their skill.
Not only will it be a good Test for the likes of Quinton de Kock, who has been known to struggle against spinners in the past, but also for Markram.
‘I’m obviously climatizing. It’s humid here,’ said Markram ahead of his first Proteas tour to Sri Lanka. ‘We just trying to get used to that for the time being.
‘Training is going really well. We could easily be lethargic in these conditions. But the guy’sintensity has been good, which is crucial in conditions like these.’
Markram proved his worth against Australia’s pace attack by scoring two centuries on bouncy pitches, but now he faces the opposite challenge in a climate conducive to spin.
The 23-year-old gave insight into his preparations ahead of the tour.
‘It’s something I have been looking very forward to. It’s been winter at home and I have been trying to simulate spinning conditions and balls that keep a bit lower.’ said Markram.
‘There’s quite a lot of bounce back home, so we tried our best to try to simulate how we think the conditions will play. From here on it’s important that we just assess how it’s going to be.
‘Generally, back at home the wickets to get a lot slower than they are in summer so that naturally helped us. We batted in different creases, worn out creases, to try to get some spin,’ he added.
‘We tried our best back at home to make it as realistic as we think it may be here. At the end of the day, we don’t know how the wicket is going to be when we come to the first Test, so we need to assess really well.’
One of the Proteas’ biggest threats will be the world’s most successful left-arm spinner, Rangana Herath, who Markram is looking forward to facing.
‘Really looking forward to it. We have no idea what to expect with regards to how conditions are going to be and the quality [of the pitches], but obviously, he is one of the best spinners in the world so it’s going to be a great challenge and is something I’m looking forward to. Hopefully, I can take some lessons out of the series.’
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix