Australia and South Africa took the field in the Fourth Test at Wanderers on Friday after a week filled with a lot of action off the field, post the ball tampering scandal aka 'Sandpaper Gate' on day three of the Third Test at Cape Town.
Cricket Australia banned captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner for one year, and Cameron Bancroft for 9 months for their involvement in the planning and execution of tampering with the ball. Head coach of Australia, Darren Lehmann also resigned from his job and the ongoing Test will be his last. Wicket-keeper Tim Paine has taken over the reigns as Test captain.
In circumstances that were far from ideal ahead of a crucial Test match which Australia needs to win to level the series, South African captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and chose to bat first. Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram added 53 runs for the first wicket before Elgar fell to Nathan Lyon.
Hashim Amla joined Markram at the crease and the duo added 89 runs before the former lost his wicket to Pat Cummins. AB de Villiers who has been in scintillating form in the series, added a century stand with Markram, where the youngster outscored his experienced partner. Markram registered his 4th hundred in Tests and his first score above 150 before getting dismissed. It is his second hundred in the series against Australia.
Aiden Markram has grown in stature right through the home season which started with some relatively 'easy' runs against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. It was the India series where Markram's technique was tested on some tough pitches by a quality Indian pace attack. While Markram didn't get a three figure score against the Indians, his composure impressed many including Virat Kohli who as we all know, sets a very high standard of batsmanship.
Kohli has been vocal about how highly he rates the young Protean opener. He appreciated the youngster for taking up the tough job of leading South Africa in the ODI series against India, which the visitors won 5-1.
In recent times, Kohli has been tweeting about Markram whenever the young opener has batted well. During the Cape Town Test, Kohli had tweeted, "Aiden Markram is a delight to watch!"
Aiden Markram is a delight to watch!— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 24, 2018
Kohli once again took to Twitter on Friday to appreciate Aiden Markram's classy century against the Australians at Wanderers.
Aiden Markram ????????— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 30, 2018
Markram is said to be an ideal captaincy material for the future and after such an impressive debut season, he will be expected to shoulder the weight of a batting line-up that has often been fragile on testing surfaces at home.