South Africa ‘A’ four-day captain Aiden Markram is relishing working alongside one-day counterpart Khaya Zondo during their tour to England which officially begins on Saturday.
The SA A arrived for their eight-match tour on Wednesday and will begin the trip with a 50-over, warm-up match against Yorkshire in Leeds at the weekend.
Zondo will be at the helm for the one-day leg of the trip that includes three matches against the England Lions, while Markram will lead the squad in their solitary ‘A’ Test in Canterbury.
The pair are part of experienced squads that also features the likes of Standard Bank Test quintet, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Tabraiz Shamsi, Duanne Olivier and Dane Piedt.
“Khaya and I get along very well,” young opener Markram said. “I’ve actually learnt quite a lot from him without him knowing about it.
“He’s a really nice guy and is going to help me a lot, so I’m going to keep him quite close to me. I’m excited to be working with him, I think he captains in a unique way and he’s someone I can relate to, so I’m very excited.”
With the first match at Headingley taking place on Saturday, Markram admitted they were unsure what the conditions would be like for the early English summer.
But the Multiply Titans batsman, one of the stars of the 2016/17 season, said they would need to adapt quickly.
“I’m very curious as to what the conditions are going to be like,” he added. “I was in England last year and I watched quite a bit of their county cricket and it seemed to be alright.
“So it’s exciting and we’re going to have to adjust well as a side, and as an opening batter you’re going to have to be able to adapt well without losing that positive note to your game.”
Markram, 22, says winning both series was their number one goal.
He added: “We all have one common goal and one common mission, We’re going to go there and try to win, that’s what it’s all about, so there’s more to it than just using this tour as a stepping stone or whatever the case may be.”
South Africa ‘A’ squad for 50-over series against England Lions: Reeza Hendricks (Highveld Lions), Jon Jon Smuts (Warriors), Aiden Markram (Titans), Temba Bavuma (Highveld Lions), Theunis de Bruyn (Knights), Khaya Zondo – captain (Dolphins), Hein Kuhn (Titans), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Mangaliso Mosehle -wk (Highveld Lions), Sisanda Magala (Warriors), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Junior Dala (Titans), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras).
South Africa ‘A’ squad for four-day series against England Lions: Heino Kuhn (Titans), Aiden Markram- captain (Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Knights), Temba Bavuma (Highveld Lions), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Heinrich Klaasen – wk (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Rudi Second (Knights), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Junior Dala (Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Cape Cobras).