Gutted Markram rues missed century
Cape Town - Aiden Markram was left gutted at SuperSport Park on Saturday after he fell just six runs short of what would have been his third Test century in five matches.
On 94 and having batted beautifully all day, Markram edged a delivery from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel while trying to play a late cut.
The 23-year-old had been in complete control up until that point, and he looked a shoo-in for a century in his first ever Test match on his home ground.
Markram was born in Centurion and he had his family - mom and dad included - at the ground watching on Saturday.
Getting to three figures would have made for a sweet moment, but it was not to be and Markram has now been dismissed in the 90s twice in his seven Test innings to date.
"I’m massively disappointed. It was a nothing shot and I’m still not over it just yet," Markram told media after the day's play.
"It’s something that we have to put in the past now and move forward. I’m trying to keep a positive mindset.
"It’s the second time in a short career, but I’m just going to keep saying that it’s part of the game.
"Next time I get into that situation I will take lessons from what I’ve learnt today and hopefully I’ll get through to three figures."
He never looked it while at the wicket, but Markram acknowledged that he had felt the nerves before going out to bat on his homer patch.
"I was quite nervous but it helps to have partners in Dean Elgar and Hash (Amla), who are calming characters," he said.
"Naturally as a batsman you get more comfortable the more time you spend at the wicket, and that was just my message to myself today, to bat nice and deep."
The Proteas, thanks largely to Markram, were cruising at 246/3 before three late wickets - two of them senseless runouts - got India back into the match late in the day.
South Africa ended on 269/6, but Markram believes they have enough depth in their batting to get above 350 and even towards 400 on Sunday.
"I still thought we showed good fight out there winning the toss and batting first, especially how last week played out," he said.
"It was nice to get the start we did. Ideally we would not like to have lost those wickets at the end, but it’s all part of the game. We’ve got to remain positive and go out there and fight for every run tomorrow."
Play on Sunday starts at 10:00.