Bhuvneshwar or Mayank? SRH captain Aiden Markram picks his deputy, namedrops Dhoni in massive statement before IPL 2023
South African all-rounder Aiden Markram has ascended the captaincy throne at Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2023. During a special interaction, Markram was asked to reveal his vice-captaincy pick for the upcoming season. Markram also gave MS Dhoni a special mention.
Fresh from guiding Sunrisers Eastern Cape to SA20 title glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 tournament, South Africa's Aiden Markram has ascended the captaincy throne at Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the lead-up to Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2023. The South African all-rounder was appointed as the leader of the Orange Army for the 16th season of the cash-rich league on Thursday.
The talismanic batter was roped in by the 2016 IPL winners for ₹2.6 crore at the 2022 auction. Living up to expectations, Markram smashed 381 runs in 12 innings in the 2022 season. The premier batter achieved a strike rate of 139.05 and averaged 47.62 at the time. Retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2023 season of the world's richest T20 league, Markram became a frontrunner to captain the Orange Army after the Proteas batter guided Sunrisers Eastern Cape to their first SA20 title in the inaugural season.
Markram has succeeded Kane Williamson, who was released by SRH prior to the IPL auction in December. Under Williamson's leadership, SRH failed to enter the playoffs and the Hyderabad-based franchise also finished eighth last season. During a press conference organised by SA20 to discuss the success of the inaugural edition, Markram responded to a Hindustan Times query where he was asked to pick his deputy for the upcoming season of the IPL 2023. Besides Markram, veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and opener Mayank Agarwal were the leading candidates for the vacant position at SRH.
“That's a tough one. I played under Mayank at Kings. He and I got on really well. And if you look at the amount of experience someone like Bhuvi has, it is almost irreplaceable. So, to pick one would be difficult right now but I think both of them would nail it certainly,” Markram told Hindustan Times.
During the special interaction, Markram also gave MS Dhoni a special mention when he was asked to pick an Indian player he would like to see ply his trade in SA20. “That's a very difficult one. To be honest with you, someone like MS (Dhoni) would be great to have in the camp. Just for guys to be able to learn - he has got all the knowledge, and seen everything this game has produced. For our local players in South Africa to be able to spend time with someone like Dhoni would be great. So, yeah that's the one (player) that comes to my mind firstly, but there will be a lot of players I think that would be discussed for sure,” Markram added.
Leading SRH's sister franchise, Sunrisers Eastern Cape to a historic SA20 title, Markram smashed 369 runs at a strike rate of 127, and the South African all-rounder bagged 11 wickets in the T20 tournament. The Player of the Tournament also struck his maiden T20 century to help Sunrisers Eastern Cape outclass Joburg Super Kings in the thrilling semi-final. The 28-year-old has represented Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. Markram has accumulated 527 runs in 20 IPL games. Markram's SRH will cross swords with Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their IPL 2023 opener on April 1st at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.