Johannesburg

Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
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Win In Wanderers Step In The Right Direction, Game Plan Won’t Change Much For 3rd Test: Dean Elgar

Dean Elgar revealed that while there is room for improvement, but the hosts won’t be tinkering with their game plan heading into the final Test.

The 2nd Test win at Wanderers against India is a move in the right direction for the South Africa team, according to the South African skipper.

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 Reckons It’s A Step In The Right Direction After South Africa’s Win In The 2nd Test At Johannesburg

After slumping to a 113-run defeat in the first Test at Centurion, South Africa bounced back with a superb seven-wicket win at Johannesburg to level the three-match series 1-1.

“It’s a positive move, no doubt and a step in the right direction,” Elgar was quoted as saying.

“We’re still going to have challenging encounters coming our way and that includes the next Test that starts on Tuesday. We’re going to be pushed to different boundaries and how the guys respond to that is going to be important,” he added.

Rassie van der Dussen and Dean Elgar
Rassie van der Dussen and Dean Elgar. (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP via Getty Images)

Dean Elgar scored an unbeaten 96 while stitching crucial partnerships with Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma in the second innings to lead his side to a famous victory and the skipper feels the win will fire up the “relatively inexperienced squad” for the final Test.

“However, we’re going in the right direction and it’s a confidence booster for a lot of the players in the squad. We’ve got a relatively inexperienced squad, but we still know that not everything is going to go our way,” Elgar said.
Skipper Dean Elgar led from the front as South Africa levelled three-match series in style, beating India by seven wickets in Johannesburg—their first-ever on this venue.

Dean Elgar: Proteas Won’t Change Game Plan Too Much In The 3rd Test

India and South Africa are set to clash in the series-deciding final Test at Newlands, Cape Town from Tuesday and skipper Dean Elgar feels there is room for improvement for the Proteas.

“There were areas that we focused on and going into Cape Town, we’ll have to over-emphasise them again,” said Elgar.

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

“We’ll have to be strict with our game plan, so we won’t be changing too much going into Cape Town with regards to our game plans,” he added.

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 levelling the 3-match series 1-1 against India.

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, but he fittingly scored the winning runs.

South Africa and India will go to Cape Town for the third Test with the three-match Test series locked on 1-1. The series-deciding third Test starts on January 11 at the Newlands Cricket Stadium. After India won the first Test at Centurion by 113 runs, South Africa fought back into the series with a 7-wicket win at the Wanderers.

India will regain the services of skipper Virat Kohli, who missed the second Test with an upper back spasm. However, there will be fitness concern over Mohammed Siraj, who suffered a hamstring injury during the second Test at the Wanderers.

Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
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Dean Elgar Willing To Put Body On The Line For South Africa After His 96* Guides South Africa To Win

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.

Herschelle Gibbs, Bat, COVID-19 Pandemic
Herschelle Gibbs (Image Credit: Getty Images)
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Herschelle Gibbs To Auction His Iconic Bat To Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

While the COVID-19 or coronavirus has brought the challenging situation in the world, former South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs has brought out his iconic bat that helped his national team to chase down the record ODI target in 14 years ago. Gibbs has decided to auction that bat to raise funds to fight against the coronavirus.

Herschelle Gibbs was one of the most successful cricketers in South African cricket history. While he represented the national team from 1996 to 2010, the right-handed batsman played 90 Tests, 248 ODIs and 23 T20Is. In his long international career, Gibbs had many memorable incidents and created many unforgettable records.

Similarly, he played an unforgettable knock during the last game of the early 2006 five-match ODI series against the visitors Australia at The Wanderers Stadium (Johannesburg). Chasing down the record ODI target of 435 runs, Gibbs scored the match-winning 175 runs as South Africa scored 438/9 in 49.5 overs.

Herschelle Gibbs, auction, South Africa, 175 runs, 438
Herschelle Gibbs (Image Credit: Twitter)

 

Gibbs revealed his latest auction news on his official social media accounts. On his official Twitter account, Gibbs wrote, “Supersport showing the #438 game. The bat I used that day will be up for auction to raise funds for COVID. Kept it all these years.

Ricky Ponting and Herschelle Gibbs won the Player of the Match awards after that game

They played that match on 12th March 2006 which was a series-decider game (before that fifth match of that ODI series, the series scoreline was 2-2). Australian captain Ricky Ponting‘s 164 runs (105 balls) helped his national team to manage then record ODI total of 434/4 (50 overs) in the first innings of that match. However, more drama left in the second innings as Gibbs did something unthinkable with the bat during that match.

Ricky Ponting, Australia, 164 runs
Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

 

Coming to bat at the no.3 position after Boeta Dippenaar (1) was bowled in the second over of that innings, Gibbs smashed the Aussie bowlers all-over the ground. The right-handed batsman scored 175 runs off 111 balls with 21 fours and seven sixes, and his extraordinary batting performance inspired the entire team members who started to believe in winning that impossible-like game.

Herschelle Gibbs, auction, South Africa, 175 runs, 438
Herschelle Gibbs (Image Credit: Twitter)

Finally, the hosts South Africa snatched an extraordinary victory by surpassing the record ODI total and creating a new record total in the ODI cricket history. With that victory, South Africa also secured that thrilling ODI series.

Steven Smith, Dale Steyn, Dead Ball, Boundary
Steven Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Watch: Steven Smith Smashes Boundary On Dale Steyn’s Dead Ball

Last Friday (21st February) night, the hosts South Africa and the visitors Australia met in the first game of the three-match T20I series at Johannesburg where the visitors clinched a thrashing victory. During Australian innings in that match, Steven Smith hit a boundary on the clear dead ball bowled by speedster Dale Steyn.

It was the first match for the Australian cricketers; Smith and David Warner in South Africa since the ball-tampering controversy unfolded during the Cape Town Test in March 2018. During the latest Johannesburg T20I, the South African crowd booed the duo. Smith has been more trolled after he went for a shot on the dead ball.

Read  More: Virat Kohli Becomes Fourth Indian Non-Wicketkeeper to Take 250 International Catches

That incident happened in the third over of the day. South African fast bowler Steyn was delivering his fifth ball in that over. But before his delivery stride, the ball slipped from his hand and travelled to the batsman.

Smith stepped down and hit the low ball just before the ball took its third drop on the pitch. That shot easily travelled to the boundary.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, the umpires rightly called it a dead ball and Smith showed a peculiar gesture. The former Aussie captain was heavily booed for the same.

https://twitter.com/iemSRKian/status/1230942337892855808?s=20

Steven Smith was the highest run-scorer but it was Ashton Agar’s day

While Warner scored just four runs, Smith scored the highest runs in that game with 45 runs off 32 balls. Skipper Aaron Finch also scored 42 runs. In the late of that innings, while the wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey scored 27 runs, Ashton Agar remained not out on 20 runs (9 balls) as Australia managed to score 196/6 (20 overs) in the first innings.

In reply, South Africa scored their lowest completed T20I total – 89 runs (14.3 overs). Only three Proteas batsmen managed to reach the double digits in that innings.

Ashton Agar
Image Credit: Twitter

In the meantime, Australian left-arm spinner Ashton Agar scalped five wickets, including a T20I hat-trick after dismissing Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Steyn in three successive deliveries. The Player of the Match Agar had the bowling figures of 4-0-24-5 – the best T20I bowling figures by an Australian bowler.

Read More: Six Bowlers Who Have Dismissed Virat Kohli Across Formats

Ashton Agar
Ashton Agar (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Australian Spinner Ashton Agar Takes Hat-Trick In Johannesburg T20I

During Australia’s first T20I in 2020, the 26-year-old left-arm spinner Ashton Agar registered his name to the history book after claiming a hat-trick.

It was the first game of the three-match T20I series between the hosts South Africa and the visitors Australia at Johannesburg. After winning the toss, the hosts decided to field first. While the visitors managed to score 196/6 (20 overs) in the first innings, the Proteas side were bundled out for just 89 runs (14.3 overs). Winning the match by 107 runs, Australia have taken the 1-0 lead in this three-match T20I series.

Also Read: Indian Cricketers Who Won Player Of The Match Award On T20I Debut

While South Africa were under pressure from the beginning of their innings, Ashton Agar claimed his T20I hat-trick during the eighth over of that innings. To claim that hat-trick, Agar dismissed Faf du Plessis (24), Andile Phehlukwayo (0) and Dale Steyn (0) in the last three successive deliveries of that over. While Faf was caught by Kane Richardson at the deep extra cover, Phehlukwayo failed to survive from the lbw dismissal despite taking the review, and Steyn was caught by Aaron Finch at slip. After that over, South Africa were struggling on 44/7.

Ashton Agar, T20I hat-trick, hat-trick
Ashton Agar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Here are some crucial stats of that T20I hat-trick

  • Ashton Agar became the first left-arm bowler to claim a T20I hat-trick.
  • Ashton Agar became the second Australian bowler to claim a T20I hat-trick. The right-arm pacer Brett Lee was the first Aussie bowler to take a T20I hat-trick (against Bangladesh at Cape Town on 16th September 2007). In fact, Lee was the first bowler to claim a hat-trick in T20I history.
  • It was the second hat-trick in international cricket in 2020. First one in this list was the Test hat-trick by the 16-year-old Pakistan fast-bowler Naseem Shah (against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi on 9th February 2020).
  • Ashton Agar became the third spinner to claim a T20I hat-trick. The first two spinners in this list are Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) and Khawar Ali (Oman).
  • It was the 13th hat-trick in T20I history.

Ashton Agar also achieved the best T20I bowling figures for Australia

Ashton Agar finished the game with the bowling figures of 4-0-24-5. It was the best bowling figures by an Australian bowler in T20I history.

Read More: New Zealand vs India 2020: 1st Test, Day 2 – New Zealand Lead By 51 runs; Bundle Out India for 165

Ashton Agar, T20I hat-trick, hat-trick
Ashton Agar (Image Credit: Twitter)

The previous record was 4-0-27-5 by James Faulkner against Pakistan at Mohali on 25th March 2016.

Faulkner
James Faulkner (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Earlier, during Australia’s batting in the first innings of this match, Agar came to bat in the 18th over and scored 20 not out off just nine balls (2 fours and only sixer). So, undoubtedly, Agar won the Player of the Match award.

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