Proteas

Markram does a 'Greenidge' ... good sign?

2017-09-28 21:02
Aiden Markram (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Some 43 years have passed since the previous time an opening batsman suffered the misfortune (relative, of course) of being run out in the 90s on debut in a Test match.

The fact that it was West Indies great Gordon Greenidge might just make young Proteas customer Aiden Markram sleep a little more contentedly after he experienced that rare phenomenon on day one of the first Test against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom on Thursday.

Markram, 22, was looking almost as imperious as a commander on the bridge of his frigate approaching home port at triumphant war’s end, when a fatal blemish in communication with his more seasoned partner and Titans franchise ally Dean Elgar saw him cruelly undone for 97.

Visibly mortified by events - truth be told, both could be said to have carried some culpability in the tourists' only dismissal of any kind on the day - the left-handed senior opener fought on to the close, with new partner Hashim Amla also in serene control, to be unbeaten on 128 at stumps.

The host nation were powerfully placed on 298 for one, with 500-plus looking well within grasp if they even wish for that many runs on the board.

First little target on Friday for Elgar, who has typically unobtrusively become the highest run-scorer worldwide in the format for 2017, will be to go past 140, his current best effort for the country.

Markram will be an onlooker from the pavilion, and while no doubt irked by falling three runs shy of a memorable start-out century, chuffed also to have contributed to the Proteas' beefiest opening stand (196) in almost a decade.

There wasn't too much pressure on him or Elgar even from early on, given that before they had amassed 30 runs together they had already posted the best tally for the first wicket in 14 attempts by South Africa.

So have they plugged a rather glaring hole in the country's cause?

It is too early say, naturally: this was modest Bangladesh with their less-than-scary attack (minus ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, too), and the strip, to quote commentator Mike Haysman, was "as placid as the family Labrador".

But it is certainly a most heartening start, and another man behind the SuperSport microphone, former SA left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, noted that this could develop into the best pairing upfront from a balance point of view since the Graeme Smith-Alviro Petersen combination.

Elgar has previously had alliances with Stephen Cook and Heino Kuhn, although there is no truly brazen stroke-player between those three, all being willing grafters above most other considerations.

As Peterson observed: "I like where they are going with (the latest pairing) ... Markram is an attacking player by nature and that means Elgar can do his normal thing."

Kepler Wessels later weighed in with his own style-based appreciation of the right-handed novice: "He keeps very still at the crease, and his good basic technique stands him in good stead."

Who knows just how much activity - if at all - South Africa might have in a second turn at the crease at Senwes Park.

But if Markram feels a little compensated by the news that he and Greenidge share that dismissal nature on first-time Test appearance in the 90s, there is potentially further heart for him to take.

Back in his 1974 debut against India in Bengaluru, now 66-year-old Greenidge (108 Tests in total to 1991, 7,558 runs at almost 45) made up for the first-knock non-century disappointment by blitzing to the landmark in the second innings, where he registered 107...

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  aiden markram  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 December 2017
South Africa v Zimbabwe, Port Elizabeth 10:00
Friday, 05 January 2018
South Africa v India, Cape Town 10:00
Saturday, 13 January 2018
South Africa v India, Centurion 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.