Tough to get ball through ring on a slow pitch: Markram on New York deck

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New York, Jun 9 (PTI) South Africa skipper Aiden Markram on Sunday admitted that batting on a “slow and fresh” Nassau County pitch has been tough, and wanted his side to revisit the strategies to score runs on the surface here.

South Africa have won both their T20 World Cup matches here, but not without an almighty struggle. They chased 78 against Sri Lanka in 16.2 overs, and it took 18.5 overs for them to scale down 104 against Netherlands.

“It’s still really fresh and just needs a bit of traffic. It's not your usual boundaries and ball flying everywhere. The pitch has been quite slow. That makes it even tougher to get it through the ring. That's probably the reason why it's tough,” Markram said ahead of SA’s third Group D match against Bangladesh here on Monday.

Hence, finding the right batting approach on this deck was important for Markram, who wanted to cash in on the experience of playing two matches here.

“We've luckily had the privilege of playing two games now on the surface and at this venue. So, hopefully, it can give us clearer plans.

“Hopefully, we can develop plans from a batting point of view to get to a score of maybe about 140 if we do bat first and hopefully then our bowlers can do the rest,” he added.

On the bowling front, Markram has a lot to be chuffed about as pacers Anrich Nortje and Ottniel Baartman have hit their strides, taking six and five wickets from two matches.

“Both of them have been fantastic. You look at Anna (Nortje), maybe in the build up to the World Cup, he would have liked to have done better. Before his massive injury, he was, probably, one of the best bowlers in the world. I don't think that changes.

“Ottniel is really clear, keeps things really simple, got a nice skill set and that's what they back. So, it's great to see it's worked for the two of them,” said Markram.

Despite entering the match riding on two successive wins, Markram was not ready to take Bangladesh lightly.

The Asian outfit had defeated Sri Lanka in their tournament opener by two wickets.

“Yeah, that would be fantastic (winning and sealing Super Eight berth). Yeah, that's sort of the first box that we want to tick.

“But again, you look at conditions, you look at a really strong Bangladesh team and it's going to be a proper challenge for us,” he added. PTI UNG KHS