South Africa opening batsman Aiden Markram said he wasn’t expecting a call-up to the national side for the three-match ODI series against Pakistan that begins here on Friday.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all. I understand that my white-ball game for the Proteas hasn’t been where I would like it to be. I’m grateful to be here. I’m glad that the selectors and the coaches still see me in the white-ball plans,” said Markram while speaking to the media ahead of the series.

The right-handed batsman’s last white-ball game was on July 6 in Machester against Australia.

His performances in ODI cricket has been below par — 643 runs in 26 matches at an average of 27.95. He has scored just two half-centuries. That is the reason why he hasn’t been given much opportunities.

Markram was all praise for the new South Africa skipper for white ball cricket, Temba Bavuma, who has replaced Quinton de Kock.

“The amount of respect that guys have for Temba in this environment is on another level. I think it makes leading, from his side, a lot easier because of that,” said Markram.

“Where Temba might vary [from Quinton de Kock] could be in terms of being more rigid. Doing a lot of planning before a game so that when we are in the game he has got options to fall back on whereas Quinnie (Quinton de Kock) is quite a free-spirited person and therefore a free-spirited captain and was able to develop on the field as he went,” said Markram.

–IANS

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