2nd Test: The pitch played totally different to what everyone thought, says Dean Elgar

Cape Town, Jan 4 – With the pitch for the second Test between South Africa and India offering exaggerated variable bounce and seam movement, a retiring Dean Elgar said the 22 yards for the match played completely different to what everyone had expected.

In the match, South Africa were skittled out for just 55 in their first innings, before bowling out India for 153. After the visitors’ took a 98-run lead, the Proteas made 176, with Aiden Markram stroking a 103-ball 106.

At the mid-point of the second session on day two, India chased down 79 in 12 overs to get a seven-wicket win and level the series 1-1.

“It was a bit of a ripper. To the naked eye, it looked like it was going to be a nice one. It played totally different from what everyone thought. Unfortunately, we were on the receiving end, a big learning curve for the future. If you ask Rohit, he’d have batted first as well. They just out-skilled us in that first session,” said Elgar after the match ended.

The left-handed opener praised the bowlers and Markram for stepping up for South Africa in the series. “A tough one for us. Pretty positive coming into this game. The first innings with the bat killed us. India bowled fantastically and used the conditions to a T. Still a draw, still a lot of positives for the young players that we have within the side.”

“A 2-0 result would have been really nice, would have tasted a lot better today, still managed 1-1, proud of the boys. The way the bowlers bowled in this series and the way Aiden batted in the second innings is something out of the world.”

Elgar also shared the Player of the Series award with Jasprit Bumrah, as the left-handed batter made 212 runs in two games. “I would have liked to do more in this game, we might have had a few more runs to try and defend. Still very proud of my performance that I had in Centurion.”

“Finally on the board there in the hundred club. Nice to contribute to a winning cause. Some really tough batting conditions throughout. It (3-Test series) would have been fantastic, maybe back in Centurion.”

“You want to challenge yourself and play against the best in the world. Bumrah is a world-class bowler, he deserves this Man of the Series award. As a player, you want to test yourself and push yourself to different limits.”

The series also marks the end of a gritty Elgar’s international career, in which he ends with 5347 runs in 86 Tests, averaging 37.92, including 14 centuries and 23 fifties. He also played eight ODIs for South Africa.

“Glad that I don’t have to face these guys again. Fond memories. I’m sure I played that Test match when he (Bumrah) made his debut. We’ve also come a long way. Very grateful to play against these guys.”

“Has had a bit of a journey (with the Baggy Green cap). A lot of good, amazing memories. I received it in 2012 in the Perth debut, I have missed only one series with it and that was West Indies, captained the first series.”

“It’s got a special place at home, and it doesn’t leave, only leaves for duty, but that’s now done and dusted. So, I’m gonna have to find a special place for it. It is the first one and I am glad I finished with it.


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