Proteas opener Aiden Markram doubtful for final Test at Johannesburg
Markram is set to receive treatment over the coming days in the lead-up to the next game.
Published - Jan 17, 2018 5:20 pm | Updated - Jan 18, 2018 11:40 am
South African opener Aiden Markram looks doubtful to feature in the third and final Test against India at Johannesburg after he suffered a mild left quadriceps strain. The 23-year-old batsman picked up the injury in the ongoing second Test at Centurion. He is set to receive treatment over the coming days in the lead-up to the next game. South Africa‘s medical team is hopeful he will be fit for the Johannesburg Test, which starts next Wednesday.
The dynamic youngster put up an impressive display with the willow during South Africa’s first innings at Centurion scoring a crucial 94 to give the hosts a stable start and set them up for a total of 335. Eventually, the hosts ended up with a lead of 28 runs as India were bowled out for 307.
It will be difficult for South Africa to find a dependable opener
Markram’s absence meant that substitute fielder Theunis de Bruyn took the field when India came out to bat in the second innings. In case Markram is ruled out of the next game, South Africa will find it difficult to find a dependable opener in his place. De Bruyn might enter into the starting eleven if Markram is forced to miss out, as the former has played 3 Tests for South Africa, having opened the innings in one of them – against New Zealand at Hamilton in 2017.
Temba Bavuma, who has been released from the Test squad in order to play in a domestic one-day match also fits the bill and could be on the selectors’ minds.
Markram has enjoyed good form in white-ball cricket as he has started his Test career with two centuries and half-centuries each in just five Tests. His unavailability will leave a huge void in the Proteas top-order. If Markram is indeed unavailable for the Johannesburg match, it will present South Africa with a major selection challenge, mostly because there are no other obvious options in the opening-batsman department.