Town - Dean
Elgar has played many big innings for South Africa over
the years, but the celebrations that followed his century on day one of the
third Test against Australia suggested there was something different about this
Elgar was visibly emotional after
clipping Mitchell Starc through the on-side to get to his 11th Test hundred,
and by the time he was done he was half-way off the field as he pumped his arms
towards the South African changeroom.
In the build-up to the game,
Elgar had been open on his frustrations so far this year.
In 2017, Elgar finished as the
third-highest run-scorer in Test cricket having scored five centuries.
This year, though, he has
struggled to get going.
In five matches and 10 innings so
far this year before this Test, he had scored 285 runs at an
average of just 31.66.
Those are not terrible numbers
when one considers that three of those matches were played on some
seam-friendly wickets when India were in the country, but Elgar was more
frustrated at how he was getting out.
This knock meant a lot to the
30-year-old, and after the day's play he explained that he was desperate to get
back to his best.
ultimately why there was quite a bit of emotion behind the celebration,"
into the previous series against India, it was quite an up and down series for
me. I didn't feel like I had accomplished what I wanted to as a player for the
important for me to try and do it in the first two Tests against Australia, and
slowly but surely I found myself getting there and becoming the player that I
know I am."
By the time he was done, Elgar
had batted through the entire day's play to finish on 112* (253b, 17x4,
His remarkable effort was
overshadowed by the fact that the Proteas lost six wickets for just 46 runs in
the final session to go from 220/2 to 266/8.
All of that aside, Elgar gave a
timely reminder of just how valuable he is to this South African Test
Regardless of the conditions or
the opposition, he has the ability to grind it out when the going gets tough.
"I’ve said in the past
before; fluency and smoothness in my batting is never going to be something
that I am going to try and achieve," he said.
Elgar will be joined by Kagiso
Rabada (6*) when play resumes on Friday.