Dean Elgar was blunt in his assessment of South Africa’s performance in the current Test series against Australia as he pointed to a lack of courage with the bat following the loss in the second Test. The skipper, however, acknowledged the importance of the series in producing experienced campaigners.
South Africa wilted in sunny Melbourne on Thursday as they crumbled to a series loss with a 182 innings and 182 run win, recording their fourth loss on the trot while putting on the whites. The visitors have struggled to put up big runs with the bat, suffering one meltdown after another lately to spoil the promise their bowling attack has shown.
Skipper Dean Elgar also criticized the team’s batting following the loss, having himself suffered from a lack of runs. In four sets, he has just managed 31 points on the series, including a duck during his last performance. The veteran admitted the team lacked the courage to take the game against Kangaroos Down Under.
“I don’t think there was a lot of courage. There was a lot more with the ball in hand,” he told cricket.com.au at the press conference.
In the first Test at the Gabba, the Proteas were knocked out for a paltry 158 and 99, although their bowlers gave hope by knocking out a formidable batting line-up for 218 in the opening innings and then reducing them to 35/ 4 in a low caster. However, Elgar felt the team showed more personality in Melbourne, even though the batting failed yet again, having recorded a solitary score of over 200 in their last nine innings.
“Take away the Gabba result, just purely out of that test I think a lot more character was shown with the ball even though the Australians knocked us to the ground. I really saw a lot of character come out in our ranks from bowling, but maybe not as much in our batting. Fairly weak performance I would say, in conditions which I thought were in favor of a very good test of cricket. I’m quite disappointed with the way the things ended whether it was today or tomorrow. I wanted to see us with a fighting chance and give the Australians a bit of a hard time again by being really proud of our wickets,” Elgar explained.
South Africa risk slipping to fifth place in the Test standings if they lose the final Test in Sydney from January 4, but still have a chance to qualify for the Test World Championship final. The team are likely to win both Tests against the West Indies at home in March in what promises to be an easier task and Elgar acknowledged that challenges like Australia were important in preparing young players for international standards.
“There’s more learnings in that than going out and playing with a team of similar strength and we beat them. I would always like our guys to be exposed to more of that, and obviously that’s for that these guys can be fast-tracked into the international arena,” Elgar concluded on the matter.
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