Less chat on the field in this test‚ says Aiden Markram

31 March 2018 - 12:32
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Less chat on the field in this test‚ says Aiden Markram.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images Less chat on the field in this test‚ says Aiden Markram.

Markram‚ who scored a sensational century that left imperious Indian captain Virat Kohli in awe‚ said afterwards that both sides were still a bit drained by the ball-tempering events of last week that saw Steve Smith‚ David Warner and Cameron Bancroft banned.

Without their former captain Smith‚ Australia were led by Tim Paine who revealed at the post-play press conference that he suggested the unusual gesture of players exchanging handshakes before action got underway in the morning.

“In the first three games there was a lot of chat on the field as you will expect in a test match‚ maybe not so much today and I think both sides are still a bit drained out with what happened last week.

“Being out there batting there was still that pressure and a feeling that it was a big contest‚” said Markram‚ who‚ had he scored 37 more runs‚ could have equalled Graeme Smith’s record as the fastest South African to 1 000 runs after 17 innings.

He was also full praise for wicketkeeper Paine who challenged the South African batsmen behind the stumps in a good spirit by saying the right things.

“You will always hear him (Paine) in the back‚ a keeper is a keeper and he puts good pressure on you‚ he says the right things. He plays his role end even more now that he is captain and as a leader of the side and I think he did a good job today‚” Markram said.

By the turn of the year‚ Markram’s two centuries in test cricket had come against modest Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and he admitted that people were right to question whether he had what it took to score big against the top sides.

But‚ he went on to prove doubters wrong with a defiant 94 on the first day of the second test against India at SuperSport Park in January‚ and he has now scored two centuries against Australia in this series.

“There were plenty of question marks and rightly so – as a batter you want to score runs against the big sides and that hasn’t happened until this year‚” he said.

“People have the right to say what they want to say – it sort of motivated me to score runs.

“At international cricket if you can’t find ways to score runs you are going to be badly exposed‚ so I am grateful at how it has gone so far and I know in this game that things can change quickly.

“I just have to keep my feet on the ground and keep on getting better.”