India captain Virat Kohli heaped praises upon opener Aiden Markram after he scored an impressive knock of 152 runs to help South Africa conclude Day 1 of the fourth Test on top against scandal-tainted Australian cricket team at Johannesburg on Friday.
Kohli posted a special message for Markram on Twitter, hailing him for his noteworthy knock that was decorated with a six and 17 boundaries.
Aiden Markram 👌👏— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 30, 2018
South Africa went to stumps on the first day of the series decider on 313/6 after a dominant 152 from opener Markram, and 69 from AB de Villiers. But two late strikes by fast bowler Chadd Sayers on his Test debut, and three earlier wickets from Pat Cummins, gave the Australians precious hope after a week of despair.
Meanwhile, the South African crowd welcomed Australia, taunting them over the ball-tampering scandal. "Where's your captain?" the Wanderers crowd chanted. "Where's your Warner?"
Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned long-term and sent home in disgrace, as was batsman Cameron Bancroft, for their roles in tampering with the ball with sandpaper in the third Test.
The remainder of the Australia team began the first day in Johannesburg standing in a tight circle on the field before play to congratulate Sayers and three other players brought into the lineup.
Sayers was included after Australia's No. 1 fast bowler, Mitchell Starc, was ruled out with a stress fracture to his right lower leg, the latest blow to a team reeling from the cheating scandal.
Three others, batsmen Peter Handscomb, Matthew Renshaw and Joe Burns, were in the team for Smith, Warner and Bancroft. Renshaw and Burns were rushed over from Australia in the last few days.
(With AP inputs)