Durham coach looking forward to seeing Aiden Markram show his talents

Aiden Markram bats in his brief first innings for Durham last Friday.
Aiden Markram bats in his brief first innings for Durham last Friday.

Durham coach Jon Lewis is confident that Aiden Markram will bounce back from his nightmare debut for the club in the Specsavers County Championship.

The South African recorded a pair, dismissed twice by New Zealand seamer Matt Henry on the opening day of Durham’s nine-wicket defeat to Kent at Emirates Riverside, last Friday.

Markram arrived in prime form, having led the way for the Proteas in their Test series victory against Australia. The 23-year-old scored 480 runs against the Aussies on home soil, notching two centuries in the process.

However, his debut did not go to plan for Durham as he was dismissed for an eight-ball duck in the first innings.

After his side was skittled out for 91 and Kent in turn were bowled out for 169, Markram was forced to return to the crease to navigate a tricky six-over spell on the evening of day one.

He notched a pair when attempting to get off the mark, clipping a delivery from Henry straight to Ivan Thomas at mid-wicket off his third ball.

Despite the setback, Lewis is adamant that the South African’s quality will shine through in his remaining three Championship matches for the club.

He said: “Aiden said it himself when a few people asked him about the challenges. He’s come across after playing in a pretty intense Test series where he did exceptionally well. Cricket’s a funny game and it can turn around quickly. It can turn around both ways. I’m looking forward to when it’s his day and he gets himself in and somebody pays.

“I think it’s important that we remember that despite the fact that’s he pretty high up in the world rankings and he’s a pretty mature young man, he is still young. There has been a hell of a lot for him to deal with over the past six to eight weeks.

“Captaining his country in a one-day series then the Australia series, which was about as high profile as you get. Now he’s come into the challenge of Championship cricket in April in England. It’s a whole new thing for him.

“For a 23-year-old, he’s dealing with a hell of a lot in a short space of time. Although the game did not go particularly well, I think he’s doing pretty well myself.”

Markram will hope for friendlier batting conditions when Durham aim to bounce back against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road beginning tomorrow.

Northants have started with consecutive defeats, against Middlesex at Lord’s and at home to Warwickshire. But they have dangerous players such as Ben Duckett and Richard Gleeson, who linked up effectively with Durham skipper Paul Collingwood during the North-South Series in Barbados last month.