Lord's — Proteas batsman Aiden Markram says he is not thinking about the possibility of captaining the side beyond the 2019 World Cup .
The 24-year-old has been considered a future leader ever since he broke onto the international stage back in 2017, with much of that having to do with the fact that he captained the SA U-19 side to World Cup glory in 2014.
A player with immense natural ability, Markram has established himself as the Proteas' Test opener alongside Dean Elgar where he averages a 43.80 after 17 matches.
His ODI record, however, is far less convincing.
Going into Sunday's World Cup clash against Pakistan, Markram was averaging 28.66 after 23 ODIs, while his highest score in the format is just 67* .
Markram was also not assured of a place in the 15-man World Cup squad and was considered fortunate by many to sneak in ahead of Reeza Hendricks, and he has hardly justified his inclusion in England with scores of 11, 45, 5 and 38 in the tournament so far.
Conversations on the leadership of the side have come to the fore as a result of South Africa's poor showing at the World Cup, where they have recorded just one victory against lowly Afghanistan from six outings.
Current skipper Faf du Plessis will be 35 by the time the tournament ends, and it is difficult to see him leading the side to the 2023 World Cup in India.
In the aftermath of the World Cup, CSA leadership must plot the way forward and decide if it is time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.
The issue for Markram, however, is that he has not done enough to convince that he is an indispensable member of the ODI batting line-up.
That, understandably so, is where his head is currently.
"There's not been a lot of focus on it at all to be honest with you," Markram said when asked if there had been any recent communication with management over the captaincy.
"I'm really just trying to keep my spot on the side, so I'm just trying to make sure I'm scoring loads of runs as I can for the side and saving as many as I can in the field.
"I think naturally once you're in an environment for a period of time, you do think with your leadership brain and how things could be better and what we have really done well and what's worked and what hasn't.
"I think that's just a natural thing.
"But in terms of putting emphasis on captaincy itself, like I said, I haven't given it too much thought.
"I'm mainly just trying to stay on the side."
The other name that has come up recently when discussing the next Proteas captain is that of middle-order batsman Rassie van der Dussen.
@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...
Proteas batsman Aiden Markram on South Africa's slim hopes of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup semi-finals @Sport24news @News24 pic.twitter.com/HJk0FTSkd7-- Lloyd Burnard (@LloydBurnard) June 22, 2019