Thinking beyond 2019


File: South Africa's Aiden Markram (L) attends a nets practice session at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester, north west England on August 2, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - It’s quite clear that Ottis Gibson’s mandate as coach of the South African cricket team is not only to win the Cricket World Cup in 2019.

The West Indies has already shown his hand giving some fringe players opportunities for the national team. With a number of senior players at the back end of their international careers, it is therefore imperative to look at life beyond 2019.

Aiden Markram has been one of the shining lights this year. After sterling performances for the Titans, the young batsman has already cemented his Test spot following knocks of 97 and 143 against Bangladesh in his first two Test matches.

READ: De Kock stands out in ODI series

The 23-year-old has also shown versatility as a batsman. He scored a sublime 66 runs against the Tigers during his ODI debut, batting in the middle-order instead of his accustomed role as an opening batsman.

And after his heroics of captaining the SA Under-19 team to World Cup victory in 2014, Markram could be earmarked as a future skipper for the Proteas.

Markram&39;s former Under-19 teammates Kagiso Rabada and Andile Phehlukwayo have also settled in well in the national team set-up.

File: South African batsman Aiden Markram runs for four during the first day of the second cricket Test Match between South Africa and Bangladesh in Bloemfontein on October 6, 2017. Credit: AFP

Rabada is one of the best fast bowlers in world cricket and at the tender age of 22 he has already surpassed 100 Test match wickets. While Phehlukwayo, who recently made his Test debut, could be another one of the quality all-rounder South African cricket is known for producing.

He and new recruit Wiaan Mulder could add much-needed depth for a Proteas side that has struggled to identify world-class all-rounders since the retirement of Jacques Kallis in 2014.

Although it’s a bit too early in his career to know whether he will settle at international level, the 19-year-old Mulder could also turn out to be a star for the future.

Quinton de Kock has already established himself as one of world cricket&39;s leading batsman.

READ: CSA congratulates Proteas on series victory

The 24-year-old should consider relinquishing his gloves going forward if he is to prolong his career in all three formats. De Kock is one of the country&39;s most gifted talents and the key is to ensure that he&39;s managed well after 2019.

So, the Proteas have a plethora of talent at their disposal.

File: South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada. Credit: AFP

Replacing the likes of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir won&39;t be an easy prospect.

But if nurtured properly the current crop of players could emulate or exceed what the senior players have achieved during their illustrious careers.

Therefore, being crowned world champions for the first time shouldn&39;t be SA cricket&39;s only priority as there will certainly be life post-2019.