South Africa news: Aiden Markram told to score runs

Aiden Markam

South Africa skipper Dean Elgar says that he has had tough discussions with out of sorts batter Aiden Markram.

Markram averages less than ten in his last ten Test innings with a drop down the order doing little to stem the tide of low scores.

While he wasn’t alone in failing with the bat in an abject Proteas effort in the first Test against New Zealand, a lack of runs in previous series puts him on the bubble.

Markram is unlikely to get the axe for the second Test against New Zealand with only Ryan Rickelton in reserve, but Elgar has made it clear where the batter stands.

“I’ve had a lot of tough conversations with him, and [told him]: ‘You need to score runs for us’, Elgar said. “He understands the situation he is in at the moment. His position is a little bit vulnerable.”

Elgar says that he doesn’t feel he needs to spell things out for Markram, who has been axed from the Proteas team before and could be again.

The likes of Keegan Petersen and Malan brothers Pieter and Janneman have turned the heat up on Markram in particular.

“I’d like to think he is a lot cleverer than that as a player,” Elgar said.

“I don’t think we need to harp on about too many things.

“He knows he needs to contribute for us and he is in a very important position batting in the top order.

“We need guys firing.

“You can’t carry a few spots.

“It’s okay to carry one guy if he is out of form.

“I’ve had a lot of good conversations with Aiden over the last few weeks.

“I need him to return the favour.”

Elgar is at a loss to explain why the Proteas have consistently struggled to score runs.

“It’s not about whether we can or can’t. We haven’t done it on a consistent basis, but we are very much capable,” he added.

“It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for myself. We know the ability of the players we have. It’s a little bit frustrating and disappointing that we haven’t fulfilled our ability.”

Elgar is looking for an allround improvement from his charges in the second Test in the hopes of preserving their unbeaten record in bilateral series against New Zealand.

“We’ve got to not replicate what we did in the first Test,” he said. “We failed to arrive. Our competitive nature wasn’t there.”