Dean Elgar’s Year of Leading South Africa with Grit: 2022

Dean Elgar completes one year as captain of South Africa.

Dean Elgar has been at the helm of the South African Test side for a year, and South Africa has transformed their style of play to match his grittiness. Dean Elgar the batter is one of the strongest characters you will see on a Cricket Field. He is willing to lose countless battles with the bowlers, take blows on the body, play the most outrageous shots, but still hangs in there and ends up having the last laugh.

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South Africa are doing the same. Their last two series is a prime example of how South Africa stayed down, saw hopelessness and came back roaring. Against India, South Africa lost the first Test but won the next two with ease. Here in New Zealand, South Africa were all-out for 95 in their first innings, looked nowhere near comfortable and lost by an innings. They seemed set to lose their first series against New Zealand, but again fought the odds to win the next Test.

Dean Elgar took over as skipper after Quinton De Kock decided to step down due to mental health, and Faf Du Plessis went through his tenure. South Africa was still in transition, but the period that followed didn’t see South Africa lose a single Test series. They beat West Indies and India, and now drew a series with New Zealand. Captain Dean Elgar is walking the talk as well. He keeps speaking with high confidence ahead of a series, and uses his unique technique to battle through while inspiring his team to do the same.

His tenure hasn’t been short of controversy. The upheavals in Cricket South Africa continue with Boucher in the spotlight while transformation targets still remain a spot of bother. Dean Elgar himself spoke about these issues but didn’t let him get distracted as he stayed full of focus on the field. Under him the Test line-up looks pretty balanced all of a sudden. They have a strong middle-order with Temba Bavuma and Van Der Dussen looking fluent. The bowling attack led by Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj is among the best in the World, and all of a sudden, without too many superstars, South Africa look very good.

The bench strength is also improving. Keegan Peterson was South Africa’s best batter against India, but in his absence, South Africa are finding suitable replacements to do the job, unearthing new talents. Dean Elgar’s own batting form is pretty good. He shepherded the run-chases against India on pitches with uneven bounce. He copped a fair few on the body, faced a lot of banter but still made it through.

His team is fourth on the World Test Championship table. Dean Elgar will have to lead the side at home against Bangladesh, and then take them to England. His captaincy journey started in England back when Faf Du Plessis went on paternity leave. Since then, Dean Elgar has come a long way, and has now completed a full year as South Africa’ s Test captain. With a good string of fixtures ahead, there is a strong chance for South Africa to make a push for the World Test Championship Finals, and Dean Elgar will be waiting to get back on the field as South Africa continues their rise through a small crack in the door.