Aiden Markram has admitted that he does not feel his performances warranted his selection in the World Cup squad, but he does hope to justify the faith shown in him when cricket’s premier tournament starts in London on May 30.
“Now the pressure of selection is off I can enjoy my cricket more, because it was nerve-wracking.
“In my opinion I probably did not deserve to be chosen and it was completely my fault.
“As a batsman, you need runs on the board and to be winning games for your side, but I didn’t do that in white-ball cricket for the Proteas.
“So I feel very lucky to be going to the World Cup and hopefully I can justify it,” Markram said.
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“The frustration was entirely aimed at myself and the stress about selection was always there, which made the last six months so draining.
“Eventually I decided to just take myself out of it and just focus on performing for the Titans and Hampshire.
“That really helped me because before I didn’t have the numbers to really justify selection.”
The runs certainly flowed for the 24-year-old after his Proteas duties ended, as he amassed 615 runs in 10 innings in 50-over cricket, including the match-winning century for the Titans in the Momentum One-Day Cup final.
“But it was his time in the English county game that could yet bear the greatest fruit as he is now acclimatised to the conditions for the World Cup.
“I didn’t sign thinking of preparation for the World Cup, but it worked out well.
“I learnt, especially in the white-ball game, to have a lot more faith in my ability to catch up at the back end of the innings, to trust the power side of my game.
“My role allowed me to do that because they wanted me to bat deep. So I could score 50 off 70 balls and still make 100 off 110, and then you can really kick on.
“In the last couple of years, the English pitches have definitely been geared to batting.
“In my eight games this season, every wicket was good and really true, the ball might not skid on, but it was quite easy to score and it’s difficult to stop if there are two in[-form] batsmen.
“So you need an attack that can take wickets at any time and the Proteas have got that, we have plenty in our attack to cause batsmen trouble,” Markram said.