- 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
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
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
"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,
"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
"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.