Getting out for a duck is embarrasing for a batsman. Getting out for a pair, meaning duck in both innings of a Test match is the ultimate insult. In cricket, there are terms for pairs in cricket. There is a platinum pair, meaning out without facing a ball twice. There is a golden pair of king pair, meaning out first ball in both innings. However, South Africa batsman Aiden Markram suffered a silver pair, in which he was out for a two-ball duck twice in the Pune Test against India at the MCA stadium.
In the first innings, Markram and Dean Elgar opened the batting after India had notched up 601/5 declared thanks to Virat Kohli's record-breaking, unbeaten 254. After Elgar negotiated Ishant Sharma in the first over, it was Markram's turn to face the music. After leaving the first ball from Umesh Yadav comfortably, the bowler responded with a full, sharp inswinging delivery that trapped him plumb in front. Markram did not even bother taking the review as the Proteas suffered an early jolt.
However, South Africa were boosted by a record ninth-wicket partnership between Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander as South Africa reached 275 but India still enforced the follow-on as they were armed with a huge 326-run lead. South Africa came out to bat in the second innings on day 4 and this time, Markram was facing the first over from Ishant.
The bowler got a delivery to nip back in close to the off stump with extra bounce as the batsman left the ball uneasily. However, on the second ball, Ishant got the ball to curve back in on middle and leg stump line and Markram played down the wrong line. India appealed and the umpire gave it out. Markram thought about taking a review but time ran out and he was dismissed for a silver pair in Tests.
To his horror, Markram realised that had he taken the review, he would have survived as the ball was bouncing over the stumps. Elgar, his opening partner, realised the mistake and South Africa continued to flounder. Markram's struggles were a symbol of South Africa's batting woes as India came closer to sealing the series.