Markram happy to face Australia's sledging

In-form South Africa batsman Aiden Markram insists he has no problem with Australian sledging intended to intimidate him at the crease.

The 23-year-old's 218-ball knock of 143 kept the Proteas alive after an awful start to their second innings in the first Test, although defeat appears certain.

The hosts trail Australia by 124 runs with just one wicket remaining going into day five on Monday.

Markram was eventually caught behind off Mitchell Marsh, but the youngster had long resisted the tourists' attempts to get in his head - something he was happy to contend with after a mix-up led to AB de Villiers being run-out.

"That was a massive challenge," Markram said. "It's natural when you play against the Australians that there's a lot of chatter on the field.

"It's something that I certainly don't mind, something that keeps me in the game and keeps me going, keeps me motivated.

"And it never really gets out of line either, not a lot of swearing or things like that happen. There are a few here and there but it's not the end of the world.

"I believe it's part of the game. It's how it should be played, nice and hard, and it makes success that bit more rewarding. I think just having what happened [with the run-out] did affect me a little bit and you hear every word out on the field.

"But I don't speak back on the field, I try to just get on with what I do and it's always going to be there. It's part of the Australian side to keep chatting to batters but it's something I really do enjoy.

"It'll keep coming for the rest of the series, but I enjoy it."

Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine explained the sledging and acknowledged it was not particularly effective against Markram.

"We spoke to Aiden about running out their best player and one of the best players in the world," he said.

"I think had someone run Smithy out in our team you'd cop a fair bit of a ribbing," he added, referring to Australia skipper Steve Smith.

"It was nothing aggressive. It was just reminding him of what he had just done, trying to get him off his game, the same as they do to us. It didn't work."

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