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IND v SA: Winning Test series is like World Cup triumph for me, says Dean Elgar as SA eye 2-0 series victory

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IND v SA: Winning Test series is like World Cup triumph for me, says Dean Elgar as SA eye 2-0 series victory

Cape Town, Jan 2 (Ajit Weekly News) South Africa Dean Elgar drew parallel to the emotions of a Test series victory to winning a World Cup, as he gears up to bid adieu to Test cricket playing against India in the farewell match starting on Wednesday.

Addressing the media on the eve of his farewell Test against India, Elgar, who has amassed 86 Test caps, expressed his unwavering focus on the ultimate goal -– winning.

“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 memory you can ever share with your team,” stated Elgar.

Test series victories, in his view, hold unparalleled significance, serving as the pinnacle of success in the longest format of the game. While he acknowledges that he has never had the opportunity to lift a World Cup, Elgar emphasises that the Test arena is his World Cup, the stage where he desires to emerge victorious.

“I don’t care about stats. I care about wins. I care about series wins. That’s the greatest memory 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.”

The second Test against India starting on Wednesday marks the culmination of Elgar’s Test journey, leaving behind a legacy that includes being one of only eight South Africans to surpass 5000 runs in Test cricket. As he stands 167 runs away from catching Mark Boucher and securing the seventh position on the list, Elgar reflects on the significance of leading the side. Given the captaincy reins 11 months after being stood down due to an injury to regular skipper Temba Bavuma, Elgar views the captaincy as one of his proudest achievements.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

As South Africa gears up to face India in the second Test, a team they secured a 2-1 victory against in the 2021-22 summer under Elgar’s captaincy, the significance of the series isn’t lost on the retiring cricketer. “There’s no bigger honour than to captain your country irrespective of who you are playing against, but being against India adds more flavour,” expresses Elgar.

While South Africa’s innings win in the previous Test ensures they cannot lose the series, Elgar sets the bar higher. He urges the team not to settle for a drawn series but to adopt a mindset that aims for a 2-0 triumph, especially with the final match scheduled at Newlands, a venue close to many players’ hearts.

“This is 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,” declared Elgar.

As South Africa navigates the first series of the 2023-2025 WTC, Elgar reiterates that his decision to retire was made long ago, emphasizing that he is at peace with the choice. Despite his stellar 185 in the Boxing Day Test, he remains resolute in his decision, closing the chapter on a remarkable Test career with a determination to savour the final moments on the field.

“One thing people need to understand is that I made my decision long ago,” he said. “A couple of months ago, I chose this to be my last series, irrespective of what is happening behind the scenes. I made my bed, and I am sleeping in it quite nicely.”

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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