South African opener Aiden Markram was all praise for Ravichandran Ashwin after his three-wicket haul on the opening day and admitted that his turn on the Centurion pitch was unexpected. The opener also revealed that Virat Kohli came up to praise his innings, stating that he was unlucky to get out.
The brilliant turn that Ashwin got on the first day had not only surprised his teammates but South Africa as well. Ashwin’s first wicket came in the 48th over of the day when South Africa
“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. He still had to bowl well so you need to give him some credit,” said Markram after the day’s game.
"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. 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 added.
South Africa started the second Test pretty well, compared to the previous Test where the whole side was bundled over for 286 in the first innings. And Markram’s brilliant knock of 94 played a significant role in that. After Elgar returned to the pavilion making just 31 runs, Amla and Markram steered the ship to safety. However, Markram was visibly disappointed at not reaching his century.
“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
Markram was seen having a quick chat with skipper Virat Kohli as he was walking back to the pavilion after getting dismissed.
"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," said Markram when asked about the conversation.