Elgar says Proteas are stepping in right direction, won’t change much for Newlands

South African batters Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar (AFP)

  • Proteas captain Dean Elgar took the tempered approach in viewing their Test match win against India.
  • They beat KL Rahul’s side by seven wickets in the second Test that ended at the Wanderers on Thursday.
  • The series is now all square ahead of next week’s Test in Cape Town.

Proteas opener and captain Dean Elgar said that while their Test win against India is a step in the right direction, their job is not done yet.

Elgar’s 96* guided the Proteas to a series-levelling win in the second Test at the Wanderers on Thursday to level the series.

The seven-wicket success came on the back of a 113-run shellacking in the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Elgar said they still have the tough prospect of next week’s third Test in Cape Town that will ask them tough questions.

“It’s a positive move, no doubt and a step in the right direction,” Elgar said.

“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.

“However, we’re going a positive move 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.”

READ | 5 key moments from SA’s leveller over India at Wanderers

The win itself wasn’t perfect, but decisive and timely contributions allowed SA to get over the line and win their first Test against India at the Wanderers.

Newlands has been a fair friendlier ground for the hosts, but India has also made a habit of breaking down fortresses.

While Elgar didn’t zero in on areas of improvement, he did say they needed to improve.

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

“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.”

A slower and better batting surface is expected at Newlands, bringing different selectorial challenges.

Keshav Maharaj’s lack of bowling in both Tests has been questioned, but Elgar said they were happy with the team they selected.

“I am happy with the 11 guys that we chose. They put their hands up and executed what was expected of them,” Elgar said.

“You selected a team for five days of cricket and not three, so I can’t fault team selection.”

The final Test starts on Tuesday at Newlands (10:00).

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