Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar Credits: Twitter

Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar lambasted South African stand-in captain Dean Elgar for batting first on a fresh Newlands pitch with a touch of grass that provided considerable assistance to the fast bowlers throughout Day 1, as seamers for both the teams combined to pick up 23 wickets in a single day.

After winning the toss, Dean Elgar opted to bat first on the pitch that looked favourable for fast bowlers. Indian bowlers breathed fire with the new ball especially Mohammed Siraj as his remarkable stint, saw him pick up a career-best 6/15 in just 9 overs, and caught South African batters off guard.

Speaking on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar feels that Dean Elgar made a big error following the toss by opting to bat first and that he was taken aback by Elgar’s selection, arguing that South Africa should have bowled first and exploited India’s low morale defeat in the 1st test.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar Credits: Twitter

“Well, I tell you, I was a bit surprised by what happened. Because a lot of times, captains and coaches make a deal about what the pitch is gonna be.

“I think you’ve also got to look at the psychology of the Indian team, having been defeated in 3 days, having batted so poorly in the 2nd innings, and gonna be batting first on a fresh pitch would have been just a little bit defensive.”  Sunil Gavaskar said

Dean Elgar made only 12 runs in the Proteas’ final test match innings after falling for four runs in the 1st innings. He arrived at Newlands on the back of a superb 185 and was expected to go all out in the second Test but could not make an impact for the team in his final test.

Something Similar Happened In Australia Two Years Ago- Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar also argued that the South African think-tank should have learned from Australia’s blunders when they elected to bowl first after bowling the side out for 36 in the first test of the Border-Gavaskar series in 2020/21.

India Cricket Team
India Cricket Team Credits: Twitter

“Something similar happened in Australia two years ago, Australia dismissed India for 36. The next Test was played in Melbourne, where the grass on the pitch was three millimetres more than the one at Adelaide. Australia batted first,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

With the match still in balance, South Africa will aim to complete his Test career with a 2-0 victory against India if Aiden Markram, who is sharing the crease with David Bedingham, can record a healthy and defendable total on their home soil.