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Ken Borland

Elgar has a reputation for being a bit gabby, but he’s not afraid to talk about his own shortcomings 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

Dean Elgar has a reputation amongst opposition teams for being a bit gabby, but the Proteas captain is not afraid to talk about his own shortcomings and on Sunday he revealed the hard work he has been doing to get his batting back on track ahead of the Test series in Australia.

Opener Elgar is one of the senior statesmen in the South African batting line-up, usually setting a solid tone up front, but he was disappointed with his output on the England tour, scoring just 107 runs in five innings.

The left-hander revealed that he has done a technical overhaul, that seems to be working judging by his form for the Northerns Titans in domestic four-day cricket. Elgar scored 55 and 25 not out to help steer the Titans to a 10-wicket win over the Central Gauteng Lions at the Wanderers on Sunday. With his 137 against the Free State Knights, he is averaging 72.33 this season.

“It feels good to get runs under the belt, obviously to influence the team and to get my game in order with something big coming up [the Australia Tests]. I’ve had a nice three weeks prep.

“I’ve been able to get my confidence back up high and sort out some technical stuff. Knowing where your off-stump is is important, one of the basic fundamentals, but there are a lot of other basics I’ve worked on too.

“I was doing stuff in England which I never used to do, so I broke down my technique and tried to make what I thought were weaknesses less so.

“Having experience really helps because I know when something is wrong, although it is easier said than done to fix it. But it’s nice to be able to do it at domestic level where there is less pressure,” Elgar said.

Visiting captains always feel the heat in Australia, so Elgar has been well-advised to make sure his own game is shipshape. The straight-talking skipper did not hide his disappointment that his vice-captain, Temba Bavuma, and senior fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who are both sure to feel the warmth Down Under too after underwhelming T20 World Cup campaigns there, have not played any four-day cricket before the tour.

“KG is maybe one exception because his workload is quite high and I can maybe understand him having the time off with fast bowling being extremely demanding,” Elgar said.

“But batsmen should ideally be trying to utilise time in the middle, although I have no control over the medical rules. But playing domestically is the best place to get form and confidence.

“Getting runs here can really change your thought patterns. So it has been nice to see a lot of the squad playing and working on technical flaws. A guy like Kyle Verreynne has obviously worked hard and scored a lot of runs.

“I’m a bit concerned with our seam bowling though. There has been a lot of emphasis on T20 cricket and the bowlers are not conditioned enough for long spells or bowling all day,” Elgar warned.

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