Cape Town - The Proteas’ golden arm, Dean Elgar, says he was ‘surprised’ by his career-best bowling performance of 4/22 which helped to bowl India out for 201 on the opening day of the first Test at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
Prior to this match, Elgar had claimed six wickets in his 17-match Test career, but conducive conditions and the backing from the captain brought out a masterful showing from the part-timer according to the Cricket South Africa website.
“I have a bit of a reputation of being a golden arm,” he said after the day’s play. “I tend to get breakthroughs and it was probably that period where Hashim (Amla) felt he could burgle a wicket, which usually happens. It’s nice to contribute to the team in that sense and to have the confidence from the captain.
“I think a lot of times when batsmen face me they don’t want to get out to me so they become a lot more tentative, which works in my favour,” he said. “Fortunately the wicket had broken up quite a bit and there was quite a bit of rough so I tried to land the ball in a half-decent area.”
Elgar says a positive approach will be needed from the batsmen as the Proteas build their first innings, especially on a deteriorating pitch which he feels is similar to that of conditions on Day four of a Test match. Elgar withstood 20 overs of attack from India’s bowlers, and says more of the same will be needed from himself and Amla when they resume the innings on Day two.
“I think the way forward is to be positive,” he explained. “I think tonight we had to go into our shells and fight a bit. It’s generally not always the way that we play our cricket but tonight was an important period for Day two. We had to try to have as few wickets down as possible so that we can set up our Day two.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said of the conditions. “We expected it to play like that but we didn’t think it was going to crumble as much as it has already. It was hard graft, it was right up there with the toughest day of Test cricket that I have had. Twenty overs were hard work, you can see that India are used to putting the opposition under pressure when their tails are up.”