Indian wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik has heaped praise on South African red-ball captain Dean Elgar for his exploits on the third day of the second Test against India.
Karthik feels Elgar is the most underrated opener in the game alongside Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne. While Karunaratne amassed 902 runs at an impressive average of 69 in 2021, Elgar has been the rock of the South African batting since the retirement of their golden generation.
Following another gutsy knock (46* off 121 balls) from the Proteas captain, the second Test is well in the balance. South Africa are 118-2, needing another 120 runs in two days to square the series. While reviewing Day 3 of the ongoing second Test on Cricbuzz, Karthik commended Dean Elgar, saying:
“Definitely I thought South Africa would be 3-4 down because that has been the trend so far. But there’s a one-man standout – Dean Elgar. Taking a blow to his head but still finding a way to stay there.”
“Elgar and Dimuth Karunaratne have been really understated as openers over a period of time. They’ve done fantabulously well. It’s just brilliant the way they have batted and applied themselves.
The Chennai-born batter acknowledged Elgar’s limitations with his technique. However, he feels the left-hander is an inspiration for other openers around the globe, saying:
“Dean Elgar probably has only two shots in his repertoire – the flick and the cut. But the way he’s able to stitch that together along with the full balls being put away, it’s just brilliant.”
“I do think a lot of openers will look at him, and take a lot of inspiration that technique is not the do all and end all. It’s all about what happens between your ears as they say.”
”India won’t be panicking at this stage” – Shaun Pollock
Setting a target of 240 for the hosts, India would have hoped to make inroads in the South African line-up. However, with Dean Elgar and co. showing great application and determination, South Africa only lost two wickets in 40 overs on the third day.
Shaun Pollock, a former South African great, said that he was ‘impressed’ by the hosts’ performance. However, he feels that considering the hosts’ inexperienced batting line-up, India are not out of the game yet. Pollock told Cricbuzz in this regard:
“Key thing for South Africa has been the partnership that they put together. On a surface like this, if you loose two quick wickets, it really sends a bit of panic. But South did well and I’ve been impressed.”
“But I still look down that order and think that Bavuma is next, but then there’s a lot of inexperience, so India won’t be panicking at this stage. But they would want a quick start tomorrow.”
With the game evenly poised, Day 4 is set to be the final day of the second Test. The equation is simple: the hosts need 122 runs to win, while India require eight more wickets to win the series.
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Dean Elgar would look to continue his good work and see his team home, but the visitors might have other ideas.