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Ken Borland

Elgar has sympathy for fellow batsmen, like an elder brother

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

Proteas captain Dean Elgar admitted he found the batting conditions in their Test series in England to be extremely tough and, like an elder brother protecting his siblings, he said he had nothing but sympathy for the inexperienced other batsmen in their squad.

South Africa were bowled out for just 118 and 169 in the third and decisive Test at The Oval, losing by nine wickets on Monday. In the second Test at Old Trafford, they could only manage totals of 151 and 179 as they lost by an innings.

Elgar, who has now played 79 Tests, scored just 107 runs in five innings in the series. He, Sarel Erwee (127 at 25.40) and Keegan Petersen (122 at 24.40) were the only Proteas batsmen to score over a hundred runs in the three Tests.

The rest of South Africa’s top seven at The Oval had only played 44 Tests in total and they were all on their first Test tour of England. No wonder Elgar identified inexperience as the key weakness of South Africa’s batting.

“This series was really up there with the toughest conditions I have faced in my career. So I can imagine how the guys with just one or two Tests to their name must feel,” Elgar said.

“We had a lack of experience, a lack of exposure to Test cricket and the conditions in the UK. There was swing and the ball nipped quite a lot. Coming to England, you can be exposed if the conditions are tough.

“It was tough for them, they are trying to learn at the hardest level with no experience around them. I always bank on experience, but we don’t have that at Test level.

“We’ve got to try and ease the blow for them, but who do we have in first-class cricket back home?” Elgar said at the post-match press conference.

Having now lost the series, Elgar was once again subjected to the questions about ‘Bazball’ he loves so much, but he said England had played good, accurate Test cricket rather than anything ultra-aggressive.

“I thought England played at the correct tempo, nothing extraordinary, but when their tail was up then they would strike when they had to. They showed just general, good Test awareness.

“They weren’t ultra-aggressive, they just played at a really good tempo. But you can manage and control that when you are ahead of the game.

“I didn’t see the B-word come to the fore at all. They just controlled the last two Tests well, they played really good cricket and they were pretty accurate,” Elgar said.

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