Cricket

Back to the drawing board for South Africa

Battling it out: Elgar made a typically defiant 77 in the second innings.

Battling it out: Elgar made a typically defiant 77 in the second innings.

Dean Elgar’s visage mirrored his disappointment. The South Africa captain was clear where India got its big advantage.

“You win the toss, bat first and lose only three wickets on day one. Then you post a total over 300. That was the difference between the sides,” he said.

Good gameplan

The opener added, “The opening partnership on day one between K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal really built a solid platform for India, negating the new ball. They were patient and had a very good gameplan.”

In contrast, the Indians breached the South African opening partnership early in both the innings.

Elgar, who made a typically battling 77 in the Proteas’ second innings said, “The Indian pacemen did not make things easy for us. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah challenge you and you got to compete against the new ball. Unfortunately we could not get our opening partnership going.”

Elgar said the South Africans would have a number of honest and transparent discussions ahead of the second Test at the Wanderers.

Among them would be talks to shift the talented Keegan Petersen down the order from No. 3.

“These are early days in his career and he has batted in pretty difficult conditions. He has looked very good. He is one of our best batters at the nets. I feel for him because he has so much ability,” he said.

Pat for Jansen

Elgar was all praise for debutant seamer Marco Jansen: “He was the player of the Test for us. Bowled very well. He’s tall, gets bounce and is an awkward customer to face. He had a brilliant debut.”

The captain said there would be “conversations” about the team composition ahead of the second Test.

“This defeat is not going to dent our confidence going into the second Test at the Wanderers,” he added.


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Printable version | May 16, 2022 5:17:04 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/back-to-the-drawing-board-for-south-africa/article38074076.ece