India and South Africa will lock horns in the second and final Test match at the Newlands, Cape Town, commencing on Wednesday, January 3.
This match is also going to be the last time Dean Elgar will be playing international cricket for the Proteas. The left-handed batter will also be leading the team in this encounter as regular captain Temba Bavuma has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring strain during the Boxing Day Test. On the eve of the second Test, Elgar, who did not play in any World Cup during his career, said that winning a Test series for him is as special as winning the marquee event.
“I only play the game to win, I don’t care about stats, I care about wins. I care about series wins. That’s the greatest memories you can ever share with your team, everyone that has got an influential role in the background. Test series wins – you don’t top that. Maybe a World Cup win is up there. I have never had that opportunity but this is my World Cup. This is my arena where I want to win,” Elgar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
No bigger credit than being asked to be the captain: Dean Elgar
Elgar was replaced by Bavuma as South Africa’s Test captain. He explained how special it is for him to be handed the job for the last international game in his career.
“I don’t think you get a bigger accolade or bigger credit than to be asked to captain, I did it in the past for a year-and-a-half or whatever it was and it has been the best learning experience for me as an individual – not just from a cricketing point of view but off-field stuff. I give my 100% whether I am playing or captaining and I am going to have that mentality going into this game. For me, it’s about showing the right ways for the younger players and hopefully that catches on,” Elgar said.
South Africa won the Boxing Day Test by an innings and 32 runs. They cannot lose the series from here as the best India can do is level it at 1-1. However, Elgar said that a draw would be as bad as a loss for the Proteas and mentioned that the team is looking forward to starting the year with a solid performance.
“We are in a fortunate position knowing that we can’t lose the series but drawing is maybe as big as a loss for us. It’s a massive Test for us, being our highlighted Test of the year. The New Year’s Test at Newlands, they don’t get much bigger and better, against really tough opposition. Playing the New Year’s Test is big for guys and they are going to have a lot of firsts so we want them to just live in that moment but be mindful of the opportunity of winning 2-nil. Drawing the series is not something we are thinking about at all,” the 36-year-old said.