Ton-up Elgar makes India sweat on Day Three
His propensity to put the past behind him and get on with the job was admirable.
Visakhapatnam: There is so much to admire about Dean Elgar. His willingness to guts it out. His ability to bat for long hours with scarcely noticeable drops in concentration. His desire to tackle the best in the world in unfamiliar conditions. His propensity to put the past behind him and get on with the job. And his overwhelming march towards self-improvement, in which journey he is willing to leave home every South African summer to ply his wares in the English County Championship.
There must have been an immense sense of self-satisfaction when the fruits of all the hard work manifested themselves in a typically pugnacious but also occasionally flamboyant 160. India were expected to lord Day Three of the first Test, but Elgar's heroics, coupled with skipper Faf du Plessis's class and Quinton de Kock's enterprise, muscled the Proteas to 385-8 in response to the hosts' 502-7 declared.
"Any three-figure mark for South Africa is a massive moment for me. It's always an emotional time. A lot of hard graft has happened in the past previous series where you have failed. You look back and you realise that it's very special," the opener said.
"Even in the trying conditions that we have, we have not experienced heat like this back home. The wicket obviously wears down quite quickly. I'd like to think it may be my best hundred I have had for South Africa, especially playing against the prowess of India and to show them that last time was a little bit easier but this time it is not going to be a pushover."
The reference to 'that last time' was when South Africa were hammered 3-0 in a four-Test series in 2015.
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