Aiden Markram says game plans failed the senior batsmen on a wicket which lacked excessive lateral movement.
The Proteas got their second innings off to the worst of starts. Senior players were pathetic once again as the Proteas found themselves four down with 49 on the board.
Dean Elgar (9), Hashim Amla (8), AB de Villiers (0) and Faf du Plessis (4) all crumbled, leaving Markram to sift through a swarm of pressure to find a glimmer of hope.
The 23-year-old provided by striking his third Test century in his seventh match, boosting his average to 57.91.
His 87-run partnership with Theunis de Bruyn (36) worked the hosts back into the game and his century stand with Quinton de Kock provoked the Proteas fightback.
Markram contributed 44 and De Kock 57 to reach their 100-run partnership and continued to frustrate the Aussies putting on 147 for the sixth wicket.
Shortly before bad light stopped play, Markram lost his scalp to Mitchell Marsh, equalling his career-best score of 143 against Bangladesh.
But what did the emerging star do differently to his senior counterparts?
‘I’m not going to say they did not do anything that I did, it was just more about staying in our plans for longer and clearer game plans I suppose,’ said Markram.
‘It was the sort of wicket where once you got in, you could develop a plan quite quickly.
‘If you stick to that game plan for long periods of time, that would be the best way to go about it. There wasn’t a lot of lateral movement off the wicket, the ball reverse-swung quite a bit.
‘In terms of movement off the wicket, which is the hardest to face in Test cricket, there wasn’t a lot of that.’
Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was impressed with Markram’s performance.
‘It was a superb innings’ he said. ‘It was a really tough wicket with reverse swing, lots of spin, a little bit of up and down. He played superbly well.
‘He was very close to getting them to winning this game, so he deserves a lot of credit.’
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