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Ken Borland

Elgar has sympathy for fellow batsmen, like an elder brother 0

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.

Elgar like an older brother showing his younger siblings the ropes 0

Posted on September 28, 2022 by Ken

Like an older brother showing his younger siblings the ropes, Proteas captain Dean Elgar says he knows what it feels like to be the No.1 Test side in the world and he wants the rest of his team to experience the same joy.

South Africa are currently leading the ICC World Test Championship with five wins from seven matches, but in terms of the Test rankings they are third behind Australia and India. England are 10 points behind them in fourth and are languishing in seventh in the Championship, out of the running for the final.

But regardless of that, beating England in a Test series in England is one of the toughest things to do and Elgar, a veteran of 76 Tests,  knows if they are to be acknowledged as the best side in the longest format then they need to stand up and be counted when the first Test starts at Lord’s on Wednesday.

“I didn’t take the job as captain thinking about just being a mid-table team,” Elgar said on Tuesday. “It was always my goal for us to play our best cricket.

“I’ve been part of a No.1-ranked side twice and I know how great a feeling it is and how much work it takes and what a journey it is.

“I want the younger guys to experience that and I want to experience it again as well before my next chapter. It’s a massive goal of mine, the biggest, and I wouldn’t be doing this job if I didn’t think we were capable of being number one.

“I think we’ve created a lot more confidence over the last 15 months and it has rubbed off on my own game as well. I’m not dissing the opposition, but purely from the South African point of view, we tick all the boxes,” Elgar said.

While rain meant Kagiso Rabada would have to bowl in the indoor nets at Lord’s if he needed to top-up after his ankle injury, there will be at least four changes in the starting XI compared to the team that thrashed Bangladesh in Gqeberha in South Africa’s previous Test, in April.

The injured duo of Temba Bavuma and Duanne Olivier are both back in South Africa, while Wiaan Mulder and Lizaad Williams are not in the touring squad.

Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen are all back in the squad, but whether there is enough in the conditions to warrant playing Simon Harmer as a second spinner will determine whether the pace quartet return like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Who comes in for Bavuma is the big question.

“We’ve lost Temba’s experience factor in the middle-order and I would be more inclined to go for experience,” Elgar said, suggesting Rassie van der Dussen or Aiden Markram are the frontrunners to bat No.4.

Play starts at 12pm SA time.

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