Markram 'punches' himself out

Aiden Markram

The down and out South Africa received another blow on Thursday when opener Aiden Markram was ruled out of the third and final Test due to a wrist injury. The right-hander suffered the injury after punching a solid object out of frustration over his dismissal in the second Test in Pune, a Cricket South Africa (CSA) release said.

Markram is the second injury setback for South Africa ahead of the final Test, beginning here from Saturday. Five days ago, the uncapped George Linde was called up for spinner Keshav Maharaj, who returned home after suffering a shoulder injury.  

“The incident took place following the opener’s dismissal in the second innings of the second Test. In a moment of frustration with his own performance, he lashed out at a solid object,” the CSA release said.

Markram was sent back to the hut by right-arm pacer Umesh Yadav for nought in the second innings. The 23-year-old didn’t review the umpire’s decision but replays later showed the ball was missing leg stump. The missed opportunity seemed to have triggered Markram's action in the dressing room.

“A CT scan of Markram’s wrist showed a fracture involving the wrist bones. The medical team, therefore, has ruled him out of the third Test,” the release said.

A century in the warm-up game was the ideal start for Markram ahead of the three-match series. But for youngsters opening in India can provide a reality check. One expected the right-hander to recover after a poor start that had scores of five and 39 in the first Test in Visakhapatnam. But disappointment turned to embarrassment for Markram when he bagged a ‘pair’ in the second Test.  

In a team that’s undergoing a rebuilding process, Markram is seen as its future. The youngster, who is keen on filling the void left by greats like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, was understandably upset for having to return home from his first visit to India with very little to positives.

“It’s unacceptable in a Proteas environment and to let the team down is what hurts me the most. I have learnt a lot from this and the other players, I am sure, would have learnt a lot,” he admitted.

“We understand that emotions run high and sometimes the frustration gets the better of you as it did it for me. But like I said, there is no excuse for my action. I have taken full responsibility and I have apologised to the team. Hopefully, I can make up for the South African team and the people back home soon,” he said.

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