• Markram fit for final Test

    South African opening batsman Aiden Markram has been declared fit for this week’s third and final Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

    Markram had been battling a thigh injury sustained during the the second Test at Newlands in Cape Town, but has since recovered.

    The right-handed Markram has managed 90 runs in three innings across the series so far, for an average of 30, well below a substantially higher career aggregate of 45.20.

    The 24-year-old currently occupies 10th position in the International Cricket Council’s rankings for Test batsmen, flanked by Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne and Australia’s Usman Khawaja, who are ninth and 10th respectively. Fellow opener Dean Elgar and the veteran Hashim Amla are in eighth and 13th place respectively.

    The uncapped Pieter Malan was on standby for Markram. Fellow Cape Cobras batsman Zubayr Hamza will likely replace captain Faf du Plessis.

    Du Plessis has been banned for one Test after the Proteas’ slower over rate at Newlands. Elgar will captain the team in Du Plessis’ absence. Markram was in contention for the temporary appointment, too, having previously captained the ODI team against Australia.

    The hosts sport an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-Test series. They won by six wickets inside three days at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Newlands yielded a nine-wicket win in the first session of the fourth day.

    Photo: Gallo

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