The South African opener Aiden Markram, who was playing the first Test of his career, missed a century when he got out to a Ravichandran Ashwin’s delivery at the score of 94.
Markram had rattled India’s batting line up with his strokes in the first session of first day’s play. In Markram’s every shot there was a confidence and authority before he tried hit a ball from Ashwin and handed his ball into Parthiv Patel’s hand.
While talking about his missed opportunity, Markram said, “Obviously, I am bitterly disappointed. It’s the second time in a short career, but I’m just going to keep saying it’s part of the game and try to be positive. Next time I get into those situations I’ll take lessons from what I’ve learnt today and hopefully get through to three figures.”
Meanwhile, the Proteas opener was all praises for Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who complement his skills with the bat. “He came across and said well played; you were unlucky to get out. It was a great touch from him. He is a massive competitor as everyone sees on the TV, but it’s great to see that he has got good values that people off the field might not see. It was a great gesture and it meant a lot.”
Markram also stated that Faf du Plessis’s side were surprised with the pitch after Ashwin took 3/90 to restrict them to 269 for 6 till the end of the first day in the second Test.
“We didn’t expect there to be so much assistance for him. Ashwin was difficult to face. He is difficult to face on a flat wicket as well, so it did work out well for him I suppose,” Markram added.
“He still had to bowl well so you need to give him some credit. It will be interesting to see if the pitch will get harder and if it will continue to spin like it did, or if it spun like that because of the grass covering. We’ll see in the next couple of days,” he said.
“Ashwin is a world class bowler. He always asking the right questions and he sets smart fields. It is not easy out there. I don’t think he would have expected to bowl as much today judging on how last week went,” he added.
“They would have expected something similar. But he is a world-class bowler and it was a good challenge to get out there and face him,” he said.
“I thought we showed good fight, winning the toss and batting first, especially after how last week played out. It is nice to get the start we did get, and for Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers to prolong the partnership,” he said.
“We would have liked not to have lost those wickets at the end. It is a part of the game and we just got to be nice and positive as a side and fight for every run tomorrow morning,” he said, adding, “The game is pretty much even right now. In terms of bowling, we have got taller bowlers and also being used to the conditions and it would be interesting to see how the Indians bat and make an assessment,” he said.
Markram also revealed that they would be aim to score big with skipper with Faf du Plessis still at the crease.