Johannesburg, Jan 7: South Africa skipper Dean Elgar reckons his unbeaten 96 in spearheading the chase of 240 against India in the second Test stands in the top three influencing innings he has ever played for the team. He also praised his team for pushing through a lot in the last four days in order to square the three-match series 1-1.
“It has been a fair innings, isn’t it I guess. Personally, it is right up there. It’s contributed in a big way on the win and speaks a lot more than anything when it comes to personal game or accolades. I am extremely glad that as a captain, I could be to end and lead us over the line, which was a kind of do-or-die match for us. I would say, it was right up there, maybe in the top three influencing innings I have played for the Proteas,” said Elgar while replying to a query from IANS in the virtual press conference.
Elgar, adjudged Player of the Match for his unbeaten 96 in the second innings, stitched partnerships of 47, 46, 82 and 68 not out in acing the chase of 240. While marching forward in the chase, Elgar mentioned that not thinking about the result helped the batters in focusing on sending the loose balls to the boundary rope.
“I don’t think we ever once thought of looking at the end result. I think we needed to start well as a batting unit. Myself and Rassie had to start well for the first half an hour and then we could maybe capitalise on all the few loose deliveries, which actually worked in our favour. I think we respected the areas they bowled and then there were some areas where we put the ball away. I don’t think there was a lot to gain out of a few hours of no play today.”
Once play resumed, Elgar stood tall and carried his bat throughout the innings. “We might have lost like four wickets and then we could have been in trouble. So, I took a lot of responsibility within the batting and almost said to myself last night that I will be there till the end. As a senior batter, someone who has been around and now as a captain, I have to take responsibility. It’s now going to always work out but it did today. I am glad I finished the game off as it is a highly stressful and intense Test series against the Indian side and I don’t think you will expect anything else against them.”
Asked about his initial feelings on cruising to a seven-wicket win, their first victory against India at the Wanderers, Elgar remarked, “Hasn’t really sunk in yet. First of all, it’s a Test win for South Africa. I mean, we have fought long and hard for this kind of victory. The last four days have had pushed us through different levels and different areas within our team. The guys have responded brilliantly with regards to certain requests that I have obviously asked us to do. Sitting here, it’s nice and great to know that you have accomplished a Test win.”
The 34-year-old signed off by stressing upon sticking to the basics and gameplans not going to change much ahead of the third Test at Cape Town. “The basics of the game were something that we emphasised on nicely. We spoke long and hard about intensely trying to change the game-plan for our batters and focused on certain areas that we can be a lot better at than we weren’t very good in the first Test. There were definitely areas we focused at.”
“Going into Cape Town, I think we have to over-emphasise and going to be pretty much on it in the same kind of game-plan. I don’t see too much changes into game-plan going into Cape Town.”