Proteas

Markram thrives in 'toughest' Test innings yet

Aiden Markram (Gallo)
Aiden Markram (Gallo)

Port Elizabeth - There is no doubt that there are bigger challenges ahead, but three Tests into his international career Aiden Markram is already making waves. 

Those caps may have come at home against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but in four Test innings so far Markram has carded scored of 97, 15, 143 and 125. 

With series against India and Australia coming up, the true mettle of the 23-year-old is yet to be measured. 

Still, in Port Elizabeth against Zimbabwe on Boxing Day, Markram held a far from dominant Proteas batting line-up together in a knock that included 14 fours and 2 sixes. 

With the Zimbabwean attack looking to get the most out of the pink ball and coming into the game the later the first day got, things got more difficult for the batsmen as the sun disappeared. 

Markram acknowledged after his innings that facing the pink ball in the twilight conditions had been difficult, but he added that adjusting to Test cricket having just played in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge had posed its own issues.

It all combined, he said, to what has been his toughest Test innings so far. 

"It's not always easy to just jump format to format like that," he said.

"I am still very inexperienced and it was a bit of a challenge for me.

"There were a few factors that made it quite difficult ... the pink ball being one. Today was probably the toughest it's been for me so far."

When play resumed on day 2, Zimbabwe will pick up at 30/4, still 279 runs behind South Africa's first innings total. 

That is thanks largely to a destructive spell of opening bowling from Morne Morkel (3/20), but it all started with Markram's ton.

"I'm incredibly happy," he said.

"It put the team in a relatively strong position ... I'm just happy the team got off to a good start."

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