Proteas / 18 October 2019, 12:00pm / Zaahier Adams
Dean Elgar already believes that touring India is the most “challenging” tour on the global circuit.
Yesterday the mountain just became steeper when his opening partner Aiden Markram was ruled out of the final Test in Ranchi this week through injury.
To compound matters, it was self-sustained with Markram hurting his hand when he lashed out at solid object after being dismissed in the second innings in Pune.
“A CT scan of Aiden Markram’s wrist showed a fracture involving the wrist bones,” team doctor Hashendra Ramjee said.
“The medical team has therefore ruled him out of the next Test match against India. Arrangements have been made for him to see a specialist on his return to South Africa for further management of the injury.”
Markram would have been under pressure to hold on to his place for the final Test anyways after a pair in Pune, but he was still embarrassed to be leaving the tour in this fashion after returning home yesterday.
“It’s sad to be going home on this note and I completely understand what I’ve done wrong and take full accountability for it,” said Markram.
“It’s unacceptable in a Proteas environment and to let the team down is what hurts me the most. I’ve learned a lot from this and the other players I’m sure have learned from it as well. We understand in sport that emotions run high and sometimes the frustration gets the better of you as it did for me, but as I said, it’s no excuse.
“I’ve taken full responsibility for it, I have apologised to the team and hopefully I can make it up to them and the people of South Africa soon.”
Although Elgar has refrained from a dressing room meltdown, he does admit that the Proteas have been feeling the pressure after two heavy defeats.
“It’s a challenging tour. You get stretched as a person, you get stretched as a cricketer, the food you eat I think you get to know yourself quite a lot as a person when you come to the smaller places where the hotels are maybe not as good, and you get challenged on the field,” Elgar said.
The veteran, who became the first South African batsman to score a hundred in India after nine years during the opening Test, certainly believes its up to the experienced players to help the youngsters cope.
“We can always have that one foot on the plane syndrome, but there is still a lot to play for. Hopefully we can score a lot of runs. Maybe in the second Test we forgot a few basic points that we did in the first Test because we stretched in the field.
“It’s not all doom and gloom for us. It’s no secret that it’s been a bit of a challenge for all of us. We haven’t played our greatest cricket, consistent cricket. But we are trying to be positive. The senior players are trying to keep the guys motivated. We are still representing our country.”