After guiding South Africa to a seven-wicket win over India in the second Test, captain Dean Elgar said that he is willing to put his body on the line for his country.
Elgar batted for more than five hours on a difficult pitch while Rassie van der Dussen made an important 40.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but we’ve fought long and hard for this,” the home skipper told a virtual news conference after the victory.
“The last four days have pushed us to different levels within our team, and the guys have responded brilliantly. It’s great to know that we’ve accomplished another test win. ”
Elgar, took over as captain of a team in transition last year after many star players retired, including Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, and Dale Steyn, leaving a young replacement side in their wake.
It’s always team over performance. I don’t play for accolades, I don’t play for the personal gain out of this game, “added Elgar.
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I play for my teammates and win. Luck was on my side as I was the person that got us over the line.
It’s a nice feeling to know that you’ve contributed in a big way. I think it means a hell of a lot for me when it comes to influencing our environment and leading from the front.
“I think it makes it a lot easier for guys to follow you and actually trust what you’re saying in the change room.”
However, Elgar believes it is too early to declare this the start of a new era for South Africa following a string of dismal test results.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. Look, we’re still going to have a lot of challenging encounters coming our way. Even in the next test, we’re going to be pushed to different boundaries, and it’s how the guys respond to that.
But I’d like to think this test win is a massive positive, moving in the right direction. Yeah, I think it’s a confidence booster for a lot of our players within the squad, because we’ve got relatively young and inexperienced guys who haven’t been around test cricket for a long time, “he added.
The third and final test begins on Tuesday in Cape Town.