Standard Bank Proteas stand-in captain, Dean Elgar, says the squad will need to be a lot more ‘ruthless’ with their basic disciplines- which he feels was the disappointment- in the 211-run loss to England in the first Test match at Lord’s on Sunday. A dejected Elgar lamented the missed opportunities throughout the four days of cricket, which highlighted a below-par performance in the field.
He gave credit to the bowlers, who brought the team back into the match with a lethal performance with the ball on the fourth morning, taking the last nine wicket for 114 runs to set up a difficult but gettable target of 331 for victory.
“ There were small things that impacted the Test in a big way,” he admitted after the match. “ Various dropped catches, our non-negotiable no-balls, issues that we had throughout the Test. That would have made life easier as a captain and life easier as a squad. We need to take it on the chin and crack on, we have to be a lot more ruthless with regards to our disciplines.
“ I thought it was game on,” he said of the feeling at lunch. “ Massive credit has to go to our bowlers for implementing and keeping the game plan for as long as possible. We knew we had to get time out of this game with two days to go, it was going to be a tough feat for us. Going into lunch with them eight down I thought we had given ourselves an opportunity. That is why it is disappointing sitting here after things capitulated.”
Elgar says he has learnt a lot during his short stint as captain, and says it will be important to look ahead given the short turnaround until the start of the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday.
“ It has been a good week,” he said of the captaincy. “ It was quite enjoyable. It definitely could have been a lot easier, especially the start of the Test. It could have been a lot easier on myself if a few things went our way as a team. So be it, these are the punches you have to take, we have to get up tomorrow with a smile and not forget that in four days’ time we start again.
“ The reality of cricket is that you are always going to lose somewhere,” he said. “ The key thing is to bounce back as quickly as possible. I don’t think there will be any drifting apart, we are still going to be a tight unit. We have to put a lot more emphasis on our next game.”
Russell Domingo has travelled back to South Africa to be with his mother, who’s condition has deteriorated following a car accident and has been placed on life support. Faf du Plessis has re-joined the squad which is scheduled to travel to Nottingham on Tuesday.