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Abhishek's performance in IPL this season will help him play for India: Markram

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New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Sunrisers Hyderabad's South African import Aidem Markram believes Abhishek Sharma's destructive IPL form would fetch him an India cap in the not so distant future.

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Sharma, who is striking at over 200 in the ongoing edition, has 401 runs in 12 matches. He and Australian Travis Head make for an explosive opening pair and most recently chased down over 160 runs in a less 10 overs against Lucknow Super Giants.

Markram, who is the captain of the South African team, described the duo as "brothers of destruction" in an interview to PTI Videos.

"Abhi (Abhishek) has made massive strides this season. He was showing some really positive signs in the previous seasons and what he's achieved so far this season puts him in good stead for hopefully representing India one day," Markram said of the 23-year-old left-hander.

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"He's got a very calm and level head on his shoulders and he'll take everything in his stride. But my fingers are certainly crossed for him to go to higher honours," he added.

Impact player rule gives freedom ===================== Joining the debate surrounding the impact player rule, Markram said that the addition of an extra batter in the line-up has allowed teams to adopt a more aggressive approach.

"Naturally, when you have that extra batter in your batting line-up, you feel more freedom as a player. And obviously from the start of the innings, the openers feel that extra bit of freedom as well," he explained.

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"I think we've seen it with quite a few other teams that have been doing it. So I'll definitely say that the impact players have created that and created probably a new brand of T20 cricket that happens here in IPL," he said.

Markram also commended the team's bowling unit, particularly the leadership of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"I don't think he's (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) ever lost it, to be honest. He sort of leads from the front in his own calm and silent way. It's been fantastic for us to watch.

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"But the bowling unit as a whole has really confronted this challenge of the batters that's been happening this season with the scene of impact player. They found their own unique ways to try to keep the batters calm and also try to find ways to keep taking wickets," he said.

"But definitely someone like Bhuvi leading from the front, as he's done for many, many years, has been excellent for you," he added.

Markram hasn't had the best of seasons so far and has managed 199 runs from nine matches so far. The 30-year-old said he is happy with the effort he is putting into his game.

"I'm still feeling really good. IPL is a tough beast to crack and you as a player have to appreciate that. It's all for good reasons. For me, it's spending lots of time working on my game, working hard off the field as well.

"And if you get another opportunity, you'll feel ready to take that and grab that opportunity hopefully. And if it doesn't work out, then whatever cricket lies ahead, you trust that this preparation puts you in a good state for that," he said acknowledging being out of form. PTI HN PM PM PM PM

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