Dean Elgar Willing To Put Body On The Line For South Africa After His 96* Guides South Africa To Win

Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

Dean Elgar, the South African skipper, claims that he is willing to put his body on the line for his country. Dean Elgar played a gritty knock of 96 runs to guide South Africa to a 7-wicket win over India to level the series 1-1. The series decided will now play on January 11 in Cape Town.

During his five hours and nine minutes stay in the middle, the southpaw took a lot of body blows and one Jasprit Bumrah beamer hit on his helmet grille but he remained calm and composed.

Dean Elgar scored an unbeaten 96-run in the second innings to power South Africa to a 7-wicket win over India. (AP Image)
Dean Elgar scored an unbeaten 96-run in the second innings to power South Africa to a 7-wicket win over India. (AP Image)

Dean Elgar Wanted To Stay Till The End As He’s A Senior Batsman And Needed To Take The Responsibility

Dean Elgar feels that being a senior batter he needed to take the responsibility to lead his team from the front. Dean Elgar played a captain’s knock scoring an unbeaten 96 to take the hosts to a 7-wicket win leveling the 3-match series 1-1 against India. Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma comfortably took South Africa home with the captain fittingly scoring the winning runs as the hosts leveled the 3-match Test series 1-1.

“I said to myself I’m going to be there till the end as a senior batter, someone who’s been around for a long time. I needed to take the responsibility,” the skipper said in the post-match media interaction.

“It’s not always going to work out but today it worked out. It’s a highly stressful and intense series against the Indians.”

Dean Elgar punches the air after hitting the winning four AFP via Getty Images
Dean Elgar punches the air after hitting the winning four AFP via Getty Images

The Proteas skipper further said if he is willing to put his body on the line then everybody in the team should also do the same.

“Some may call it stupid, some may brave. I would like to see the latter. I’d like to see it as another influencing factor in our team. If I’m willing to put my body on the line, so should everyone else and it’s not in the mind. Playing for your country, you’re expected to do this, irrespective of how you are feeling and you need to focus on the bigger task at hand. That’s obviously to try and get the job done.”

After five and half hours lost in the day, the left-hander shepherded the innings beautifully and stood in two match-winning partnerships against the relentless Indian attack. Skipper Dean Elgar led from the front as South Africa leveled three-match series in style, beating India by seven wickets in Johannesburg—their first-ever on this venue.

Rains made sure that the day was off to a delayed start, but the result was never in question with South Africa ending Day 3 looking solid at 118/2. India had never lost a Test match in Johannesburg, but it was about to change thanks to the unshakeable grit shown by the Proteas and exemplified by their captain Dean Elgar. The rain delay had made sure that day 4 was reduced to 34 overs, but no one expected the game to get over on the fourth day itself.

Dean Elgar Rated The Innings At The Top As He Led From The Front

Dean Elgar stood at the wicket for 307 minutes and took blows on his body just like he did here four years ago. He was also engaged in verbal duels on many occasions but never lost his concentration. It was a pity that he couldn’t get to a century ending up unbeaten at 96 off 188 balls.

“It feels really special, firstly as a captain. I don’t play for accolades or personal milestones. I play for my teammates and winning. I’m not going to exclude them from their achievements, they’ve done throughout the last couple days. I think it means a hell of a lot for me when it comes to influencing our environment and leading from the front. It’s always something that I’ve liked to have done.”

“Even as a schoolboy it’s something I’ve always wanted to do with lead from the front and I think it makes it a lot easier for guys to follow your footsteps and actually trust you. So I think in that respect, it goes a long way.”

Rating his innings at the top, he said: “This is right up there. Contributing in a big way in a win speaks a lot more than anything when it comes to personal gain or personal accolades. I was extremely glad as the captain that I could lead us over the line, which was a do or die kind of Test match for us. So I would say it was up there, maybe the top three influential innings that I’ve played.”

Quinton de Kock has also been the captain of the South Africa Test team. (Reuters)
Quinton de Kock has also been the captain of the South Africa Test team. (Reuters)

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. First and foremost, it’s a Test win for South Africa. We fought long and hard, pushing us to different levels these four days. The guys responded brilliantly. It’s great to accomplish another Test win.”

“I think it’s a step in the right direction. We still have a lot of challenging encounters coming our way. Even in the next Test, we’re gonna have a lot of encounters where we’re going to be pushed to different boundaries and how the guys respond to that. But I’d like to think of this as a massive positive moving in the right direction. Yeah, I think it’s a confidence booster for a lot of our players within the squad. We’ve got relatively young and inexperienced guys. So yeah, I’d like to think it’s a move in the right direction,” Dean Elgar concluded.

South Africa entered this Test on the back of an undercooked effort with the ball at SuperSport Park (Centurion) and a batting line-up that could best be described as promising but fragile. Their biggest name, keeper Quinton de Kock, who was due to miss the rest of the series on paternity leave, retired from the longest format altogether.

India brought the strongest seam attack in their history to the venue where they have never lost a Test in this country, the Wanderers. At just 29 years of age and having played 54 Tests, Quinton de Kock announced his retirement from the traditional format at the end of the opening Test against India, which the Proteas lost by 113 runs at SuperSport Park.

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