Though the late three wickets that the Proteas lost were hardly his fault, Aiden Markram still feels partly responsible for his side’s wobbly position in the second Test against India in Centurion.
The 23-year-old Titans star continued his outstanding start to international cricket with a magnificent 94, in the process lifting his Test average to a dream-like 73 and becoming the second fastest South African to reach 500 Test runs – in his fifth match.
Yet given the platform that was laid – the Proteas had reached 246/3 at one stage – the close of play score of 269/6 does make Markram’s near-miss feel like a failure.
“I’m massively disappointed. It was a nothing shot and I’m still not over it just yet,” he said.
“It’s something that we have to put in the past now and move forward. I’m trying to keep a positive mindset.”
In just seven innings, Markram has now been dismissed in the nineties twice, illustrating actually how good his conversion rate of fifties is (he’s scored two hundreds).
It could’ve been four out of four with a bit of luck.
As it turned out, Markam was outwitted by the shrewd Ravi Ashwin, who bowled arguably his best spell ever in South Africa.
The off-spinner changed to around the wicket, pushed a delivery straighter and had the opener edging a late cut.
“Next time I get into that situation I will take lessons from what I’ve learnt today and hopefully I’ll get through to three figures,” said Markram.
He did receive the scant consolation of some encouraging words from Indian skipper Virat Kohli after he was dismissed.
Naturally the first thought that pops into many people’s minds is that Kohli had a chirp ready.
But Markram surprised when he revealed what the moment was about.
“He just said well played and hard luck for getting out. It was a really nice touch. Virat’s a very big competitor as everyone sees on television but he’s got good values too. It’s good to experience that side of him.”