Proteas skipper Dean Elgar said that he was happy to absorb punishment to help his country win after his gutsy 96 not out saw South Africa level the Test series against India.
Elgar faced a barrage of short-pitched bowling and survived a few deliveries that flew past his bat however it was his bloody-mindedness that saw the Proteas record victory at the Wanderers.
Dean Elgar deflects praise for Proteas win
As captain, he lauded an improved team performance and heaped praise on his fast bowlers, rather than dwell on praise.
“The basics of batting bowling and batting don’t go away, we missed that in the first game. Saying that, it wasn’t easy,” Elgar said at the post-match press conference.
“Tough conditions we had to face as a batting unit. As a bowling unit, the Indians were on top at times. Massive respect to our bowling unit, they showed a lot of character.”
Elgar was named man of the match thanks to his gutsy second innings dig, which saw him wearing a few very quick deliveries from the India pace attack.
Elgar has faith in the current batting lineup to get the job done.
“Always a privilege to represent your country,” Elgar added.
“I would like to think the knocks I take make me extra motivated to perform. Some would call it stupid and some would call it brave. The bigger picture is for us to win. We struggled to get a stable batting line-up and we had to be very patient. We’ve entrusted those positions to guys we feel can perform those roles and great to see them pull it off.”
KG given a rocket?
Elgar seemed to open up a can of worms regarding Kagiso Rabada however, hinting at some behind the scenes issues hampering the fast bowler’s performance.
The skipper suggested Rabada had been ‘given a rocket’ before his match-turning spell when he removed Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in successive balls on day three.
“With KG there was something that happened behind the scenes but we’re not going to get into that. Sometimes KG needs a rocket. You could then almost sense the intensity and focus, he was in the zone. The moment he has that attitude he wants to bowl and wants to contribute, you have to use it as a captain. It was awesome to see him fire.”