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Friday, September 30, 2022

Proteas captain Dean Elgar delighted with performance from bowlers

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Johannesburg – After blowing England away in less than three days at Lord’s, Dean Elgar called on his fearsome quartet of quick bowlers to get better.

The Proteas captain nevertheless delighted in a stunning innings and 12-run win on Friday that saw his side go one up in the three-match series.

Kagiso Rabada, who was named man of the match after taking seven wickets, and Anrich Nortje with six, led the way in an overwhelming victory for South Africa at the home of cricket.

“By no means is it the end product,” said Elgar. “I need them to get better and to achieve more and want to achieve more and once they all buy into that, and I’m sure they want to with great victories like this, then we will be a pretty special bowling attack.”

England’s new aggressive style had been the talk of the cricket world, after they’d won four Tests in a row, chasing totals of over 270 in the final innings on each occasion. However Elgar said his team had developed its own style, that is reliant on the unique attributes of a superb quartet of quick bowlers, backed up by the subtle left arm spinning skills of Keshav Maharaj, that allows him plenty of time to get creative.

“Our number three and four fast bowlers are the fastest out of the four, so my margin for error is bigger. You still have to have sound game plans and bowlers need to know their roles and adapt to situations. You also have Kesh who is world class and operates in his own zone, he’s an absolute gun, brilliant to have in the team.”

It was Maharaj who surprisingly started England’s slide on Friday, picking up two wickets before lunch. Thereafter the four fast bowlers blew England away, giving the Proteas their fifth post-isolation win at Lord’s.

Elgar acknowledged that winning the toss and choosing to bowl was crucial, although he wasn’t sure it was the right call at the time.

“You have no idea what was going on in my head when we got here on the first day – it was overcast, then the sun shone and I was wondering what the bloody hell is going on here – and so I went with my gut,” he said about his decision to bowl. “I’m more of a ‘bat first captain,’ I like putting runs on the board.

“Our strength is our bowling, and I thought the best conditions for bowling were on day one and KG really brought it, that’s why he’s Kagiso Rabada, he’s an absolute machine when it comes to rising to the occasion in big matches.”

Rabada became the 12th South African to have his name etched on the Lord’s Honours Board by claiming 5/52 in the first innings.

Much like England, Elgar admitted he was shocked the match ended as quickly as it did.

“It’s a great win for everyone. I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I’ll be doing the presser before five o’clock. It’s been a pretty special performance.”

He explained that there’d be no resting on their laurels from the tourists.

“No stone was left unturned and hopefully we don’t go into a comfort zone now. I will definitely not let that happen. We need to enjoy this, a sold out Lord’s on a Friday, it’s unique. There’s a lot of guys there who’ve not experienced this before.”

@shockerhess

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