Proteas

Elgar: Cummins has got Aussies back into Test

2018-03-22 19:25
Pat Cummins (Gallo)

Cape Town - South Africa had their hero in Dean Elgar, but Australia had their own in Pat Cummins on day one of the third Test at Newlands on Thursday. 

Elgar was sublime, carving out his 11th Test century to bat through the day and finish on 121*. 

It wasn't enough, though, to prevent Australia from leaving the opening day feeling better about proceedings than their hosts. 

South Africa went from 220/2 to losing six wickets for just 46 runs in the final session, and most of that had to do with Cummins'. 

The Aussie quick picked up 4/12 in his final eight-overs in a spell that has turned this game on its head. 

With Elgar and AB de Villiers (64) set, the Proteas were about an hour of sensible play away from batting Australia out of the game. 

Instead, they go into day two with it all to do, and their bowlers will now be tasked with putting them back into the pound seats in this contest.

"He looked like he really found rhythm in his bowling," Elgar said of Cummins after the day's play.

"We tried to handle him as best we could. I thought he was quite a big threat throughout the day. When he hits his straps with a ball that reverses he is quite a handful.

"He kept us on our toes and we know the outcome. He’s ultimately brought Australia back into this game."

Elgar has played enough Test cricket to know that such meltdowns are possible.

"I think that's the nature of Test cricket for you," he said.

"For four hours, a team can be dominant and then in the other two hours a team can bounce back.

"I know the players in our side are trying their backsides off to contribute and do well for the side. I'm aware of the difficulties of this format. When you're facing three top class seamers and Mitch Marsh, who does a great job, and they've got a quality spinner ... you're always up against it."

Elgar acknowledged that the Australians had stuck to their guns and executed their plans well throughout the day.

"They executed their plans to a tee, especially after tea. They were better than us in that session and we ultimately have to accept that," he said.

"We set ourselves high standards and players will be disappointed, but it’s about what you do after the disappointment. We need to brush it off and find a way."

Read more on:    proteas  |  pat cummins  |  dean elgar  |  cape town  |  cricket
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