Published:September 30, 2017 5:54 pm
Despite his stellar show with the bat, Dean Elgar said that the first Test against Bangladesh has been a “up and down for him”. He became the leading run-scorer in Test cricket this year but was dismissed for 199 on second day. He also dropped two catches when Bangladesh came out to bat. “It was quite an up and down day for me personally,” Elgar was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
But, what affected Elgar most was the two drop catches off Keshav Maharaj. Twice in two overs, Elgar gave Mushfiqur Rahim life at first slip. The Bangladesh captain was finally dismissed for 44 but Elgar said that whether he continues in slips is up to the captain and coach.
“Originally we thought the wicket is quite slow so you have to come closer. It’s almost like the ball is increasing in pace off the wicket when the spinner is bowling and then off the seamer it’s coming quite slowly,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it has to do with the way Kesh bowls because he does put a lot of spin on the ball and the ball does sometimes generate pace off the wicket. I was standing too close. The second one, there was discussion between me and Quinny [Quinton de Kock] and we thought we maybe I should go closer. The ball seems to generate pace off the wicket. It’s not every ball, it’s inconsistent.”
Elgar also explained the run out of debutant Aiden Markram. While trying to steal a sigle to complete his century, Elgar called for a run before saying no. But Markram was too late to reach his crease and was run-out for 97.
“I would have loved to have seen Aiden get his first Test hundred in his first innings – it would have been brilliant with the way things started for us as opening partners,” said Elgar. “I think I was more disappointed than he was. He was just doing something that a batting partner does when he is trying to get you over the line (to a hundred). Maybe if I got 200, I would have said to him that was for you, but I know that’s not going to change anything. It’s sad and makes yourself scratch your head and wonder why you play the game. But the sun actually came up this morning, irrespective of all the abuse I got on Twitter. I was very frustrated and still am – speaking about it really makes angry. I’d like to put it to bed.”
The opener has been in the form of his life and now has 952 runs in Test matches in 2017 and if continues to score, he can achieve the mark of 1000 runs. He is the only batsman to score a hundred in Tests for South Africa and can now become first batsman to reach the 1000-run mark in a calendar year since 2012.
“It’s going to be hard work,” Elgar said. “The Bangladeshis aren’t a pushover team anymore, their cricketers are highly skilled now. They made scoring quite tough at times and now they are making taking wickets quite tough. There is not a lot of assistance so as a bowling unit we will have to be on it and the first hour could be big for us. If we can squeeze them then I’d like to think we have enough in the tank to roll them early tomorrow and potentially have another crack with the bat.”
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