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Markram is being mismanaged. He's under pressure to perform with the bat, and also fast-tracked to become captain as soon as Faf retires (and Faf looks like his retirement can't come soon enough).
What Markram needs is to get dropped and go play a season of four-day cricket where he can pile on the runs and remember what it's like to dominate the bowling. Let him earn his way back to the team and feel like he's entitled to be there - it will show in his batting. Someone else should take the captaincy between Faf and Markram. The stop-gap captain won't be a good captain, but they will be good for the team long-term. I'd make it Keshav Maharaj for the lulz (just kidding, I'd make it Dean Elgar or maybe even KG).
I know being made captain early worked for Graeme Smith but everyone is different and the same thing isn't necessarily going to work for Markram.
Here's a potential team for the future. Not saying they'll be world-beaters, but there's players that a decent coaching staff can work with. I view our coaching staff and administrators as the problem much more than our players.
Muthusamy (train him to be a batting allrounder - the next Steve Smith)
I see that argument a lot. Kallis was a once in a generation player. He also offered an extra seam option which carried him during his batting failures earlier on.
We can't keep giving people extended opportunities to fail, expecting them to turn into the next Kallis. Especially when they offer nothing else to carry them when they fail in their primary role.
Not saying Markram shouldn't be given a decent shot, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
But guys like De Bruyn and Bavuma have been given ample opportunity and need to go, and earn their way back in...
The greats all struggled to get a sure footing into test cricket and a 40 average after 19 is right up there with the best.A little while back I heard one of the commentators saying that Markram has a weakness (especially to spin) in his technique, and as soon as he said that Markram went out Yes Markram has talent but like you said he needs to grind a bit more also sort out his technique or he will just remain talented without any runs. Having said that Kallis had a terrible start to his career and it all came right in the end.
If I were to predict the side in 18 months time:
Breetzke has mainly played franchise cricket while joshua has mainly played the level below. But richards is another one who is in the mix. Breetzke is very much like a young herschell gibbs, all the talent but sometimes too lose.
Yes Gerald and Marco Jansen also right up there. Marco was already part of the SA A team that toured india.