SA v IND 2021-22: ‘Extremely proud of this group of players’, says Dean Elgar after Test series win

South Africa defeated India by seven wickets in Cape Town to clinch the Test series 2-1.

South African players posing with the Freedom Trophy | GettyDean Elgar was an ‘elated’ captain as South Africa on Friday (January 14) defeated India by seven wickets in the Cape Town Test to clinch the three-match series 2-1.

Chasing 212 to win, the Proteas were 101/2 at the close of play on Day 3 and they achieved the target on the penultimate day by losing only one more wicket.

Keegan Petersen starred with the bat with 82 while the likes of Rassie van der Dussen (41*), Temba Bavuma (32*), and Elgar (30) chipped in with handy contributions.

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"Pretty elated. Obviously will sink in a day or two, maybe this evening. Really proud. We were thrown under the sword quite a few times this series and the guys responded brilliantly. Obviously, to bounce back after losing the first game, to believe that we could still win. Extremely happy (how things turned out ). Challenging your players, you need characters within the group and the bowling unit has been excellent all series. I had put up a challenge after the first game and the guys responded brilliantly. Helps to have a group that doesn't have any real big names, they like to rally together and play as one. And that's crucial," said Elgar in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Having lost the opening game in Centurion by 113 runs, the hosts were down and out but Dean Elgar led the team from the front in Johannesburg to turn things around.

"Extremely proud of this group of players that we have here. Ultimately, if you want to operate at our performance levels, you need tough chats and I'm a bit of old-school mentality with a new-school twist. I laid a few challenges, even to some of the senior players as well. It was great to see the guys take my message on board. It's great to see the guys buying into you from a captain's point of view. I think us as a closed group, has helped us to feed off each other," he added.

The South African skipper reserved special praise for Keegan Petersen, who finished the series as leading run-getter with 276 runs and earned the Player of the Series award.

"We've played as a unit and we've grown massively as a group in the last two Tests. If you want to compete in Test cricket and be no.1 someday, you have to beat the best in the world. I'm really happy that things went well for us. Could easily have gone wrong and I'd have had egg on my face. As I said earlier, really proud of this group. We're by no means a finished article, I can tell you that. I'm already thinking of the next series. There are some negatives also that we need to work on," said Elgar.

"I think the way he (Petersen) responded since the first game has been immense. Always known him as a good player, he's gotten into a great player mould now and it's a lot to say for a player who has hardly played a handful of games. He has dominated domestic cricket for a while now and it's great to see him do so well in the last two Tests. He's willing to learn and you need characters like that," he added.

With this result, India failed to win their maiden Test series on South African soil. The two teams will now lock horns in a three-match ODI series, starting January 19 in Paarl.

(With ANI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 14 Jan, 2022

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