Former Test batsman Ashwell Prince has defended opener Aiden Markram amid the Proteas’ struggles during the ongoing tour of India.
The tourists lost the first Test in Visakhapatnam by 203 runs before collapsing to an innings defeat in the second on Sunday. The hosts, therefore, sport an unassailable 2-0 series lead ahead of this week’s third and final match in Ranchi.
Markram has managed a mere 44 runs in four innings, including two ducks, this series. He had struck a century for South Africa A against India A – and another for the Proteas versus the Indian Board President’s XI – prior to the Tests.
‘Opening the batting in Test cricket is a tough gig and I think largely Dean Elgar and Markram has been a good partnership. We have problems at three and four, though. With Faf du Plessis pretty much preferring number five, this would be my preferred top five – Elgar, Markram, Zubayr Hamza, Quinton de Kock and Faf. We need a settled top five,’ Prince wrote on Twitter.
Prince, who averaged under 35 in 11 Tests in India between 2006 and 2011 and is the current coach of the Cape Cobras, predictably suggested franchise batsman Kyle Verreynne be included in the Proteas’ Test XI.
‘No points for guessing who my ‘keeper would be to slot in at six or seven alongside a spinning all-rounder [Senuran Muthusamy] in the sub-continent or seam-bowling all-rounder in SA, England or Australia. We have good seam bowlers to complete the line-up. Need to get to a settled top five, though,’ he added.
‘I do feel that we have some serious issues that need to be resolved in our game. Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus – and the right people in the right seats on the bus.’
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