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Proteas opener Markram excited over home ground advantage

22-year old Proteas opening batsman, Aiden Markram will be playing his first test match on his home ground, when South Africa and India battle it out in the second test at SuperSport Park in Centurion starting Saturday.

Proteas opener Aiden Markram against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth December 2017. Picture: Twitter/@OfficialCSA

CENTURION - Twenty-two-year-old Proteas opening batsman, Aiden Markram will be playing his first test match on his home ground, when South Africa and India battle it out in the second test at SuperSport Park in Centurion starting on Saturday.

The Proteas take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, heading into the second Test match at Centurion, after they won a thrilling first test at Newlands in Cape Town last week.

The number one test side in the world, India, are smarting after losing the first test by 72 runs, after looking like favourites to win the match, when they bowled out the South Africans for 286 in the first innings and 130 in the second, to set themselves an attainable 209 run target for victory.

The Proteas fast bowlers though had other ideas, and a Vernon Philander career-best effort of 6/42, ripped through the Indian batting line up to ensure the 72 run victory margin for the Proteas.

The India series has posed a sterner test for the young Markram though, and one that he says he is relishing and enjoying.

Markram has taken to test cricket like a fish to water and in his first three test matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, has recorded two centuries and one score of over 50 runs. “Playing against India in the first test match has really been a level higher, than in my first three test matches, but I am really enjoying it.”

Markram’s first innings against India, was a tricky outing as he had to contend with testing conditions on day one in Cape Town. He scored five runs before he was beautifully set up by Bhuveneshwar Kumar by an in-swinging ball that crashed into his front pad. He did look like the more assertive Markram we have been used to over the past six months of seeing him in international cricket in the second innings, where he scored a breezy 34.

The opportunity to play in front of his home crowd in the second test is one that excites Markram. “It’s incredibly exciting, SuperSport Park is a place that I have grown up watching and playing cricket and it has been an exciting week and I’m really looking forward to it. A lot of people have been asking me for tickets, but family and close friends will take preference.”

When asked about his insight into the pitch at SuperSport Park, Markram says that he is expecting one that is similar to the Newlands pitch. “It’s generally a good pitch to bat on, how they have prepared it now I’m not too sure, but guys score a lot of runs here. I haven’t seen it yet, but I think they’ve prepared something similar to last week in Cape Town but not as extreme.”

The second test of the three-match series between South Africa and India will get underway on Saturday 13th January from SuperSport Park at 10:30am.

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