Proteas

Elgar: New Aussie mindset won't last

2018-04-02 18:51
Dean Elgar (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Proteas opener Dean Elgar says this is the "most docile" Test match he has ever played against Australia. 

It certainly looks that way from the outside, looking in.

READ: Pain can't stop Morkel as Proteas boss Aussies

Following the controversy, intensity and verbal warfare – from both sides - that went into the first three fixtures of the series, the Wanderers Test has been unremarkable in every way. 

Australia are trying to win back the trust of their fans since the ball-tampering incident at Newlands left them the laughing stock of the cricket world and the disgrace of their own country. 

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have all been dealt with by Cricket Australia since then while coach Darren Lehmann has resigned.

But Tim Paine, the man tasked with leading Australia out of this mess for now, has made a clear effort to play the game in a friendly manner as Australian cricket tries to convince the world that it is ready to change its culture. 

Paine orchestrated team handshakes before the start of day one and his players, throughout the Test, have been noticeably jovial with their South African opponents. 

It has all made for an extremely unfamiliar picture. 

"It’s odd. I’ve played quite a few Tests against Australia and it’s definitely been the most docile ... I don’t think it’s going to last very long," Elgar, who made 81 on Monday, said.

"I think you need to have a tenacious approach in Test cricket.

"Nice guys come second, that’s my saying. You’ve got to have an element of proper fight, and sooner or later if your bowlers are clocking massive overs and biting their tongue, they will unleash something.

"There are a lot of frustrations over the course of five days. It’s only human nature for guys to potentially say words to each other, but that’s fine as long as it’s not personal and it just has a competitive edge, I am ok with that."

When asked if he preferred the hostile environments of the first three Tests, Elgar was reluctant to take a stance.

"It’s never nice being called nasty things on the field, but I don’t mind that," he said.

"It gets me going, so I will use that to my advantage. We are playing Test cricket and we have a massive goal as our team.

"You need to put personal things aside and focus on what your team needs. We’ve been quite hard on that goal, and hopefully we will achieve it tomorrow.

"It’s not about me, it’s always about the side."

The Proteas will resume on day five needing seven wickets to win the fourth Test, while Australia need 524 runs to save the series.

Read more on:    proteas  |  dean elgar  |  johannesburg  |  cricket
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