Town - When Proteas opener Dean
Elgar addressed media after day one of the third Test
against Australia at Newlands on Thursday, he was visibly drained.
That came as no surprise, given
that he had batted for nearly seven hours without giving is wicket away in a
knock of 112* that has almost single-handedly kept South Africa in the Test
The Proteas went from 220/2 to 266/8
at stumps on Thursday, and without Elgar they may well be out of this Test -
and the series - already.
It was another glaring example of
why Elgar is such a crucial member of this Proteas Test squad.
READ: Elgar explains emotional century celebrations
He may not have the elegance of
Hashim Amla, the shot-making ability of AB de Villiers or the natural
aggression of Quinton de Kock, but Elgar has his own set of attributes that
make him just as important as any of those players.
At the very top of that list of
skills is his ability to concentrate for long periods.
He has done it countless times
since making his debut back in 2012, and he was at it again on Thursday,
surviving everything the Aussies threw his way.
But, even for Elgar, there was
time for a laugh out in the middle.
According to the 30-year-old, the
sledging from the Aussies on day one was "stock standard".
Things seemed to get particularly
heated when Vernon Philander came to the wicket. The Aussies had said in the
build-up to the Test that they might throw a few chirps Philander's way after
the Proteas seamer claimed that his Twitter account was hacked following a
tweet that was sent from his account that criticised Steve Smith.
Kagiso Rabada also seemed to get
an earful when he came to the wicket.
At the other end, though, Elgar
was having a quiet chuckle to himself.
"It's just noise which we
know is going to happen," Elgar explained after the day's play.
"Sometimes it’s quite
humorous, which I quite enjoyed today.
"You’re always going to have
that competitive edge out there. You’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of egos,
which is good for the game.
"We definitely expected the
Australians to have their chatter, which is fine. It was good chat out
Australia's day one hero, Pat
Cummins (4/64), brushed off his animated celebrations when dismissing Philander.
"It was just a big
moment," he said.
"He is a No 8, but he can
bat, so it was nice to get into the tail."